Background: Compelling evidence has been accumulated to support the effectiveness of intensive lifestyle intervention in delaying progression to Type 2 diabetes even in people identified as being at high risk determined by the Finnish diabetes risk score. The DE-PLAN-CAT project (diabetes in Europe-prevention using lifestyle, physical activity and nutritional intervention-Catalonia) evidenced that intensive lifestyle intervention was feasible and cost-effective on a short scale in real-life primary care settings, at least over 4 years. However, transferring such lifestyle interventions to society remains the major challenge of research in the field of diabetes prevention.
Methods/design: The derived DP-TRANSFERS (diabetes prevention-transferring findings from European research to society) is a large scale national programme aimed at translating a tailored lifestyle intervention to the maximum of primary care centres where feasible through a core proposal agreed with all the partners. The method is built upon a 3-step (screening, intervention and follow-up) real-life, community-wide structure on the basis of a dual intensity lifestyle intervention (basic and continuity modules) and supported by a 4-channel transfer strategy (institutional relationships, facilitators' workshops, collaborative groupware and programme WEB page). Participation will initially cover nine health departments (7 million inhabitants) through nine coordinating centres located in metropolitan (3.2 million), semi-urban (2.9 million) and rural (0.9 million) areas from which it is expected accessing 25 % of all primary care settings, equivalent to 90 associated centres (1.6-1.8 million people) with an estimate of 0.32 million participants aged 45-75 years at high risk of future development of diabetes. To ascertain sustainability, effect, satisfaction and quality of the translation programme statistical analyses will be performed from both the entire population (facilitators and participants) and a stratified representative sample obtained by collecting data from at least 920 participants.
Discussion: The DP-TRANSFERS will use a strategy of approach to society consistent with the impact of the disease and the fast accessibility provided by primary care settings in Catalonia. Both the widespread effect of the lifestyle intervention and the translational process itself could be assessed.
Keywords: Diabetes prevention; Impaired fasting glucose; Impaired glucose tolerance; Prediabetes; Public health; Study protocol; Translational research.