One of the largest diabetes prevention research studies in the world has now completed recruitment in Norfolk

18 July 2017

One of the largest diabetes prevention research studies in the World has just finished recruiting after screening over 13,000 participants at risk of diabetes in Norfolk, Suffolk and North East Essex.

The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS) has been successfully recruiting volunteers through 135 GP practices in the three counties for five years. The team has written to more than 144,000 people asking them to take part in the programme. To date the programme has provided substantial data on; patient recruitment and retention methods, the effectiveness of lay trainers, GP practice engagement, research staff training and development, glycaemic categories, research IT and database development, study materials development, and delivery of new clinical interventions. The full results will be known early next year.

Participants at highest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes were invited to take part in a three and a half year lifestyle intervention programme run at seven centres throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. Currently there are over 1600 people taking part in this lifestyle intervention trials throughout the East of England. The trials involve group sessions to help people increase their physical activity, eat healthily and weight loss if needed. Some of the participants receive additional support between sessions from Diabetes Prevention Mentors (DPM). A key element of the programme is the recruitment and training of these volunteer DPM’s who haveT2DM themselves to act as mentors for the participants in the study . The role involves making telephone calls to support and motivate participants to make healthy changes to their lifestyle. The Mentors are not there to judge nor offer advice, but to offer help and positivity to participants along the way.

The intervention involves participant empowerment, increasing motivation, self-regulation and making specific action plans to overcome barriers and make sustainable healthy lifestyle changes. The research team includes Diabetes Prevention Facilitators, Research Associates, Fitness Facilitators, nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists, registered research nurses, Research Healthcare Assistants and diabetes consultants.

Professor Mike Sampson, NNUH consultant and the programmes Chief Investigator, said “We are very pleased to get to the 13,000 mark which exceeded our original goal, and very grateful to the more than 135 GP practices who have worked with us on this project. I think it’s a good example of joint working between the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the CRN, local CCG’s and the University of East Anglia".

Senior Programme Manager and Principal Investigator Dr Melanie Pascale said “The programme has been a huge success and I'm very proud of the team’s hard work throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and NE Essex. The NDPS collaborative working on this programme is a great example of health care innovation within the Trust and a good example of research as vital in providing the evidence we need to transform services, improve patient outcomes and provide value for money healthcare. Overall the feedback from participants has been very positive.”

The study has been sponsored by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and funded with around £3m from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

For more information visit the DPS website