IHMRI researchers working in the Health Promotion Service of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) are seeking 340 people with type 2 diabetes to take part in a research program.
The researchers, Dr Susan Furber and PhD candidate Karen Waller, want to see if health coaching via text message can improve the health of people living with type 2 diabetes. The text messages provide motivation, support and guidance on physical activity, nutrition and diabetes care for six months.
To study the effectiveness of the text message program, participants will have their cholesterol and diabetes level monitored along with lifestyle measures. Participants receive $75 for their time.
The researchers are inviting adults with type 2 diabetes and a high blood glucose level, determined by a glycated haemaglobin (HbA1c) of 7% or above into the research program. You must also have a mobile phone and cannot be pregnant.
The DTEXT Program Manager, Karen Waller explains:
“We want to see if receiving text messages can reduce blood glucose levels of participants. Research shows that improvements in lifestyle and diabetes self-care can improve glycaemic control and reduce diabetes complications. If this can be achieved through a text message program, it provides a convenient and cost effective method to complement existing health care”.
A pilot study of DTEXT has shown high levels of participant satisfaction and promising results in helping people with type 2 diabetes.
One of the participants of the pilot study, Jon Roberts, states:
“What I liked about the program was that somebody cared and was there to help. Getting a message every day with helpful hints make you feel like you are not alone.”
Penney McLean recently completed the six month DTEXT program and states:
“The program is fantastic. I am much more happy, have a positive attitude and feel good about myself. I now feel proud of me.”
If results of the program are successful, DTEXT will be translated into a free program for all NSW residents with type 2 diabetes through the NSW Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service.
More information about the research project can be found at www.DTEXT.com.au.
- Type 2 diabetes is predicted to be the leading contributor to the burden of disease in Australia by 2020.
- If current diabetes trends continue, diabetes associated costs to the Australian government as expected to be $30 billion by 2025.
- Only 50% of people with diabetes manage it effectively, 66% do little to no exercise and 93% do not meet dietary guidelines.
- The Illawarra Shoalhaven has the second highest rates of diabetes in NSW.
Lyndel Hayes, Communications Coordinator
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