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H2020

Feel4Diabetes Report Summary

Project ID: 643708
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Feel4Diabetes (Developing and implementing a community-based intervention to create a more supportive social and physical environment for lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes in vulnerable families across Europe)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Worldwide, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased, with the highest rates observed among low- and middle-income countries, as well as among certain ethnic groups and low socioeconomic groups in high-income countries. Although the clinical manifestation of type 2 diabetes appears later in life, some of the risk factors and behaviours are developed from childhood.

Family environment plays an important role in determining lifestyle habits, behaviours and health indices of all family members (i.e. parents, children, grandparents or other adults living together), since the older family members provide food and opportunities for physical activity or inactivity and serve as children’s role models. The community and school environment also influence family’s lifestyle habits and health indices. Especially the school can influence children’s and families’ health-related behaviours through its role on food availability, physical education classes, curricula or health education programs targeting both children and families. Considering that the family, school and community are key drivers of children’s and family’s lifestyle habits, behaviours and health indices, any initiative aiming to promote healthy and active lifestyle for the prevention of type 2 diabetes needs to address these three components.

Taking all the above into account, a multidisciplinary team has joined forces to develop, implement and evaluate the Feel4Diabetes-intervention, a school- and community- based intervention for the prevention of type 2 diabetes targeting families in low- and middle- income countries and in vulnerable populations in high-income countries in Europe. In particular, Feel4Diabetes will be implemented in two high-income countries (Belgium and Finland), two countries under economic crisis (Greece and Spain) and two low/middle-income countries (Bulgaria and Hungary) over the academic years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.

More specifically, Feel4Diabetes is aiming to:
• Identify the behaviours and their determinants related to risk factors for type 2 diabetes in the low/middle-income countries and in vulnerable populations in the high-income countries.
• Develop a low-cost and applicable in low-resource settings school and community-based intervention, adapted to the local needs, aiming to create a more supportive social and physical environment and promote healthy lifestyle changes for children and their families.
• Identify high-risk families for type 2 diabetes within these municipalities/areas and provide to the adult members of these families additional counselling sessions via face-to-face meetings during the first year and follow them up via mobile application during the second year of the intervention. The aim of these sessions is to motivate and support them in actively engaging to the school- and community- based activities that will be organized during the intervention.
• Implement the intervention for two years and evaluate its impact, outcome, process, cost-effectiveness and scalability.
• Disseminate the results of the study and develop recommendations for health policy makers, aiming at embedding the learnings derived from the project into policies and practices on a local, national and international level.

The outcomes of the Feel4Diabetes-study will be periodically uploaded on the project website (www.feel4diabetes-study.eu).  

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first year of the project, the following studies and tasks were completed by the Feel4Diabetes partners:
1. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify which are the vulnerable groups with regard to type 2 diabetes development.
2. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify the most important (sub-) behaviours related to risk factors for type 2 diabetes development in vulnerable families.
3. Focus groups with parents, grandparents, teachers and health promotion professionals were executed in the six intervention countries participating in Feel4diabetes to identify the key barriers and facilitators from the social and physical environment which are associated with the (sub-)behaviours related to risk factors for type 2 diabetes development in vulnerable families.
4. A literature review was conducted to identify school-based programs aiming to promote healthy eating and physical activity, with emphasis on socioeconomic position and vulnerable groups.
5. A literature review was conducted to identify research programs focusing on the identification of adults at high risk for type 2 diabetes and on interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in those high-risk population groups.
6. A local and national Stakeholder Advisory Board, including policy makers, experts on type 2 diabetes, health educators, etc., was established in the six intervention countries participating in Feel4diabetes.
7. Two surveys to identify the existing guidelines and policies, as well as the current practices and availability of human resources and infrastructure for the prevention of type 2 diabetes, were conducted in the six intervention countries participating in Feel4diabetes.
8. The questionnaires to be used for the impact and outcome evaluation of the Feel4Diabetes-intervention were developed. Moreover, studies to assess the validity and reliability of the questionnaires and the intra- and inter- observer reliability of the measurements performed by the researchers from the six countries, were conducted.
9. The municipalities/areas in the six intervention countries where the Feel4Diabetes-intervention will take place were identified. Approvals from the relevant local authorities were taken and the recruitment and baseline measurements with the families were started, using common protocols, tools and procedures across the six countries.
10. The intervention material has been drafted in English and will be further adapted to the local needs of each of the six intervention countries participating in Feel4Diabetes.
11. The tools that will be used to assess the cost-effectiveness of the Feel4Diabetes-intervention were developed.
12. A communication and dissemination plan was set to prepare the ground for disseminating Feel4Diabetes-study’s main outcomes to stakeholders and target groups.

The key findings of the studies conducted during the first year of the project are planned to be disseminated in the next months.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

During the first year of its implementation, the Feel4Diabetes project made the following progress beyond the state of the art:

• Development of a screening procedure to identify families at high risk for type 2 diabetes: more specifically, a simple screening algorithm which was based on the family adult members’ FINDRISC score was created.
• Identification of the behaviours and their determinants associated with type 2 diabetes risk factors in vulnerable groups: the relevant lifestyle (sub-)behaviours were identified via a systematic review and their determinants via focus groups with parents and grandparents of young children as well as with teachers and health promotion professionals, which were executed in the six participating intervention countries.
• Record of European and national guidelines relevant to the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes: the relevant guidelines were retrieved via a survey conducted specifically for this purpose.
• Identification of local stakeholders and record of available infrastructure that could be actively engaged and potentially used in the Feel4Diabetes intervention programme: local/national stakeholder advisory boards (SAB) were established in the six participating intervention countries. Information on the available personnel and infrastructure that could be actively engaged and potentially used for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in was obtained via a survey conducted specifically for this purpose.

Related information

Record Number: 190303 / Last updated on: 2016-11-14
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