University of Hertfordshire

  • N.J. Murray
  • A.V. Gasper
  • Lisa Irvine
  • Tracey Scarpello
  • M.J. Sampson
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-376
Number of pages11
JournalThe Diabetes Educator
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a peer support program for individuals at high risk of type 2 diabetes as part of a novel Diabetes Prevention Programme (The UEA-IFG Study). Lay members of the public with existing type 2 diabetes volunteered as peer supporters (termed type 2 trainers) for participants at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The feasibility of type 2 trainer recruitment, training, and retention was tested. Methods: Between January and September 2009, 1500 potential type 2 trainers with existing type 2 diabetes were contacted and 168 (11%) expressed an interest. From this group, 26 type 2 trainers were appointed to begin training. All completed 7 training seminars, covering diabetes prevention, nutrition, physical activity, listening skills, motivation, and goal planning. Motivational calls were made every 12 weeks to each study participant by each type 2 trainer in addition to health care professional-delivered education sessions. Results: Twenty-six type 2 trainers were recruited to enter the program. One type 2 trainer withdrew before beginning their role. The retention rate was high, with 22 (89%) of the type 2 trainers continuing until study end (July 2010; 20 months), with a total of 240 phone calls made. Conclusion: The recruiting and training of lay volunteers with existing type 2 diabetes as type 2 trainers to support study participants at risk of developing the same condition was a cost-effective strategy in comparison to employing salaried health care professionals and warrants further investigation on health outcomes.

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