Generalizability of Physical Activity-Based Type 2 Diabetes Management Interventions

Oct. 8, 2014 – Welcome to!

This month we’d like to highlight the work of Matthews and colleagues (2014). They conducted a systematic review of physical activity interventions for the management of type 2 diabetes.
Their innovative approach: Focused on the generalizability of these physical activity management interventions in real world settings by examining:

– Reach of the intervention for the intended target population.

– Effectiveness of the intervention in achieving the desired positive outcomes.

– Adoption of the intervention by target staff, venues and/or organisations.

– Implementation, consistency and adaptation of the intervention protocol in practice.

– Maintenance of intervention effects on individuals or settings over time.

Twelve interventions were included in the final synthesis. Of note, there was minimal information regarding adoption level indicators. The good news? There were two articles that provided thorough adoption-level data (see King et al and Osborne).
Only half of the studies reported aspects of implementation. But, Matthews and colleagues highlight that there was also a wide range of process evaluation  measures across the studies (e.g., session records, focus groups or interviews with staff and patients). These process evaluation efforts assist in replication and understanding adaptations during program delivery.

Matthews and colleagues conclude that effective physical activity-based type 2 diabetes management studies can be translated into everyday settings and delivered by a variety of staff/peers. They also  conclude that it was difficult to compare results across the 12 studies, and support the use of outcome evaluations, such as RE-AIM, in order to generalize research findings.
Until next time,

Samantha Harden and the RE-AIM Workgroup