Objective: To identify the key elements that enabled the Greater Green Triangle Diabetes Prevention Project (GGT DPP) and the Montana Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prevention (CDDP) programs successful establishment and implementation in rural areas, as well as identifying specific challenges or barriers for implementation in rural communities.
Methods: Focus groups were held with the facilitators who delivered the GGT DPP in Australia and the Montana CDDP programs in the USA. Interview questions covered the facilitators' experiences with recruitment, establishing the program, the components and influence of rurality on the program, barriers and challenges to delivering the program, attributes of successful participants, and the influence of community resources and partnerships on the programs.
Results: Four main themes emerged from the focus groups: establishing and implementing the diabetes prevention program in the community; strategies for recruitment and retention of participants; what works in lifestyle intervention programs; and rural-centred issues.
Conclusions: The results from this study have assisted in determining the factors that contribute to developing, establishing and implementing successful diabetes prevention programs in two rural areas. Recommendations to increase the likelihood of success of programs in rural communities include: securing funding early for the program; establishing support from community leaders and developing positive relationships with health care providers; creating a professional team with passion for the program; encouraging participants to celebrate their small and big successes; and developing procedures for providing post-intervention support to help participants maintain their success.
© 2011 The Authors. Australian Journal of Rural Health © National Rural Health Alliance Inc.