A feasibility pilot randomised control trial to test the effectiveness of a website to promote physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes living in remote or rural locations

Jennifer Connelly, Alison Kirk, Judith Masthoff, Sandra MacRury

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Background: Research supports the use of web-based interventions to promote physical activity in diabetes management. However previous interventions have found poor levels of engagement or have not included health professionals and people with diabetes in the design of the tool.
Objective: To develop and explore feasibility and indicative effect of a web based physical activity promotion intervention in people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes living in remote or rural locations.
Methods: A qualitative approach using focus groups that included patients with diabetes and health professionals were run to identify key concepts, ideas and features which resulted in the design of a physical activity website. This site was tested using a quantitative approach with a qualitative six month pilot study which adopted a three armed approach. Participants were randomised into; control group who received written diabetes specific physical activity advice, Information Group- a web-based group who received the information online and Intervention Group- an interactive web-based group who received online information plus interactive features such as an activity log, personalised advice and goal setting.
Results: A website was designed based on patient and health professional ideas for effective physical activity promotion. This website was tested with 31 participants, 61% male, who were randomised into the groups. Website logins decreased over time: 4.5 times (month one) falling to 3 times (month six). Both the Information Group (134.6 (± 123.9) to 154.9 (± 144.2) mins) and Control Group (118.9 (± 103.8) to 126.1 (± 93.4) mins, d=0.07) increased time spent in moderate vigorous physical activity but decreased in the Intervention Group (131.9 (± 126.2) to 116.8 (± 107.4) mins).
Conclusions: Access to online diabetes specific physical information was effective in promoting physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes, access to interactive features was not associated with increases in activity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJMIR Diabetes
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Sep 2017


  • diabetes management
  • physical activity
  • health promotion

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