A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Diabetes Prevention Program Interventions for Overweight/Obese Marshallese Adults

Inquiry. 2023 Jan-Dec:60:469580231152051. doi: 10.1177/00469580231152051.


This study compared the effectiveness of two Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) interventions on weight loss among overweight and obese Marshallese adults. The study was a two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in 30 churches in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Marshallese adults with a body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 were eligible for the study. The study sample included 380 participants. Participants received either a faith-based adaptation of the DPP or a family-focused adaptation of the DPP, each delivered over 24 weeks. The primary outcome was weight change from baseline. Secondary outcomes included changes in Hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, dietary intake, family support for healthy behaviors, and physical activity. Outcomes were examined longitudinally using general linear mixed effects regression models, adjusting for baseline outcomes, sociodemographic covariates, and clustering of participants within churches. Reductions in weight were small for both groups. Overall, only 7.1% of all participants lost 5% or more of their baseline body weight. There were no significant differences in weight loss between the 2 arms at 6 months (P = .3599) or at 12 months (P = .3207). Significant differences in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were found between the 2 arms at 6 months (P = .0293; P = .0068, respectively). Significant within-arm changes were found for sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and family support for both arms at both follow-ups. Both interventions achieved a modest weight loss. While even modest weight loss can be clinically significant, future research is needed to identify chronic disease prevention interventions that can successfully reduce weight for this at-risk population.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03270436.

Keywords: Diabetes Prevention Program; Marshallese; Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander; cluster randomized controlled trial; overweight/obesity; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Overweight* / complications
  • Overweight* / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss / physiology

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03270436