Background: Research on the translation of efficacious lifestyle change programs to prevent type 2 diabetes into community or clinical settings is needed.
Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the reach, implementation, and efficacy of a 6-month lifestyle program implemented in primary care by nurse practitioners (NPs) for adults at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Methods: The NP sites (n = 4) were randomized to an enhanced standard care program (one NP and one nutrition session) or a lifestyle program (enhanced standard care and six NP sessions). These NPs recruited adults at risk of diabetes from their practice (n = 58), with an acceptance rate of 70%.
Results: The program reached a diverse, obese, and moderately low income sample. The NPs were able to successfully implement the protocols. The average length of the program was 9.3 months. Attendance was high (98%), and attrition was low (12%). The NPs were able to adopt the educational, behavioral, and psychosocial strategies of the intervention easily. Motivational interviewing was more difficult for NPs. Mixed-model repeated-measures analysis indicated significant trends or improvement in both groups for nutrition and exercise behavior. Participants of the lifestyle program demonstrated trends for better high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and exercise behavior compared with the enhanced standard care participants. Twenty-five percent of lifestyle participants met treatment goals of 5% weight loss compared with 11% of standard care participants.
Discussion: A lifestyle program can be implemented in primary care by NPs, reach the targeted population, and be modestly successful. Further research is indicated.