Screening for glucose intolerance and development of a lifestyle education programme for prevention of type 2 diabetes in a population with intellectual disabilities: the STOP Diabetes research project
Programme Grants for Applied Research
NIHR Journals Library
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Background The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is believed to be higher among people with intellectual disability (ID) than in the general population. However, research on prevalence and prevention in this population is limited. Objectives The objectives of this programme of work were to establish a programme of research that would significantly enhance the knowledge and understanding of impaired glucose regulation (IGR) and T2DM in people with ID; to test strategies for the early identification of IGR and T2DM in people with ID; and to develop a lifestyle education programme and educator training protocol to promote behaviour change in a population with ID and IGR (or at a high risk of T2DM/CVD). Setting Leicestershire, UK. Participants Adults with ID were recruited from community settings, including residential homes and family homes. Adults with mild to moderate ID who had an elevated body mass index (BMI) of ≥ 25 kg/m2 and/or IGR were invited to take part in the education programme. Main outcome measures The primary outcome of the screening programme was the prevalence of screen-detected T2DM and IGR. The uptake, feasibility and acceptability of the intervention were assessed. Data sources Participants were recruited from general practices, specialist ID services and clinics, and through direct contact. Results A total of 930 people with ID were recruited to the screening programme: 58% were male, 80% were white and 68% were overweight or obese. The mean age of participants was 43.3 years (standard deviation 14.2 years). Bloods were obtained for 675 participants (73%). The prevalence of previously undiagnosed T2DM was 1.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.5% to 2%] and of IGR was 5% (95% CI 4% to 7%). Abnormal IGR was more common in those of non-white ethnicity; those with a first-degree family history of diabetes; those with increasing weight, waist circumference, BMI, diastolic blood pressure or triglycerides; and those with lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. We developed a lifestyle educational programme for people with ID, informed by findings from qualitative stakeholder interviews (health-care professionals, n = 14; people with ID, n = 7) and evidence reviews. Subsequently, 11 people with ID (and carers) participated in pilot education sessions (two groups) and five people attended education for the feasibility stage (one group). We found that it was feasible to collect primary outcome measures on physical activity and sedentary behaviour using wrist-worn accelerometers. We found that the programme was relatively costly, meaning that large changes in activity or diet (or a reduction in programme costs) would be necessary for the programme to be cost-effective. We also developed a quality development process for assessing intervention fidelity. Limitations We were able to screen only around 30% of the population and involved only a small number in the piloting and feasibility work. Conclusions The results from this programme of work have significantly enhanced the existing knowledge and understanding of T2DM and IGR in people with ID. We have developed a lifestyle education programme and educator training protocol to promote behaviour change in this population.
Funding for this study was provided by the Programme Grants for Applied Research programme of the National Institute for Health Research.
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Vol. 5 (11)