Behavioral strategies in diabetes prevention programs: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2011 Jan;91(1):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2010.06.030. Epub 2010 Jul 23.


The worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes (T2D) emphasizes the need for guidelines regarding community implementation of lifestyle modification prevention programs. An understanding of effective behavioral strategies is needed if evidence translation is to be realized. The aim of this paper is to systematically review the behavioral change strategies for lifestyle T2D prevention programs.

Methods: randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of lifestyle interventions for the prevention of T2D were reviewed with a systematic literature search. Data relating to the behavioral strategies and trial outcomes were extracted.

Results: overall, lifestyle interventions were successful in reducing the incidence of T2D. The behavioral strategies utilized in these interventions were drawn from a variety of theoretical backgrounds. All RCTs utilized intensive modes of delivery and were associated with low dropout rates of 5.5-13.4%.

Conclusions: the available evidence shows that a robust behavioral change strategy is an essential part of an effective lifestyle modification program, as the absence of intensive individualized advice or "information only" more closely resembles the control group interventions used in these RCTs.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Medicine / methods*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic