Researchers from NUI Galway are inviting people to take part in a survey to share their views on Diabetes, diet, exercise and a programme that uses a smartphone app and live health coaching to help people improve their health.
The Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes study is a 15-minute online survey that is open to all people aged over 18 living in Ireland, and the findings will be crucial to developing an online Diabetes Prevention Programme.
Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented through healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, maintaining healthy behaviours can be challenging, particularly during a pandemic.
In Ireland, over 800,000 adults over 40 either have, or are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
“We aim not only to prevent Diabetes, but help people to better manage their diet, exercise, and daily stress in the long run,” said Luke Van Rhoon, PhD Candidate in Health Psychology at NUI Galway.
“This is particularly important as we currently face many new physical and psychological challenges due to the emergence of Covid-19.”
He said that technology is becoming increasingly vital in the self-management of our health and how we communicate with health care professionals, friends, and family.
“Although online Diabetes Prevention Programmes have been successfully implemented in other countries, it is important to create a unique programme that suits the needs of the Irish population.”
This study is funded by the Irish Research Council and is supervised by Professor Molly Byrne and Dr Jenny McSharry, Directors of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway.
“In Ireland, like in many countries around the world, we are seeing an increasing prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in the community, linked with growing levels of obesity and lower levels of physical activity,” said Professor Molly Byrne.
“Developing new programmes which people really want to engage with to prevent Diabetes is a priority for our health services.
“Online programmes can overcome some of the challenges affecting face-to-face programmes and we now know from the research that digital health interventions can be effective in increasing physical activity, changing diets and promoting weight loss.
“Our research which is being conducted in collaboration with the National Programme for Diabetes, will provide really important findings to ensure that online Diabetes Prevention programmes which are developed in Ireland are usable by the people who will benefit most from them.”