Vetrovsky T, Kral N, Pfeiferova M, Kuhnova J, Novak J, Wahlich C, Jaklova A, Jurkova K, Janek M, Omcirk D, Capek V, Maes I, Steffl M, Ussher M & Tufano JJ (2023) mHealth intervention delivered in general practice to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour of patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (ENERGISED): rationale and study protocol for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 23, Art. No.: 613. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-023-15513-1
The growing number of patients with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes is a major public health concern. Physical activity is a cornerstone of diabetes management and may prevent its onset in prediabetes patients. Despite this, many patients with (pre)diabetes remain physically inactive. Primary care physicians are well-situated to deliver interventions to increase their patients' physical activity levels. However, effective and sustainable physical activity interventions for (pre)diabetes patients that can be translated into routine primary care are lacking.
We describe the rationale and protocol for a 12-month pragmatic, multicentre, randomised, controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of an mHealth intervention delivered in general practice to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour of patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (ENERGISED). Twenty-one general practices will recruit 340 patients with (pre)diabetes during routine health check-ups. Patients allocated to the active control arm will receive a Fitbit activity tracker to self-monitor their daily steps and try to achieve the recommended step goal. Patients allocated to the intervention arm will additionally receive the mHealth intervention, including the delivery of several text messages per week, with some of them delivered just in time, based on data continuously collected by the Fitbit tracker. The trial consists of two phases, each lasting six months: the lead-in phase, when the mHealth intervention will be supported with human phone counselling, and the maintenance phase, when the intervention will be fully automated. The primary outcome, average ambulatory activity (steps/day) measured by a wrist-worn accelerometer, will be assessed at the end of the maintenance phase at 12 months.
The trial has several strengths, such as the choice of active control to isolate the net effect of the intervention beyond simple self-monitoring with an activity tracker, broad eligibility criteria allowing for the inclusion of patients without a smartphone, procedures to minimise selection bias, and involvement of a relatively large number of general practices. These design choices contribute to the trial’s pragmatic character and ensure that the intervention, if effective, can be translated into routine primary care practice, allowing important public health benefits.
Step-count; Just-in-time adaptive intervention (JITAI); Primary care; Fitbit; Active control; Self-monitoring; Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA); Micro-randomisation; Phone counselling, Text messages
BMC Public Health: Volume 23
|Publication date online||31/03/2023|
|Date accepted by journal||23/03/2023|
|Publisher||Springer Science and Business Media LLC|