Lifestyle intervention by group-based rehabilitation versus individual counseling in type 2 diabetes: 1-year follow-up of the Copenhagen type 2 diabetes rehabilitation project


Background: Today most guidelines on the management of type 2 diabetes incorporate lifestyle intervention including patient education, physical activity and dietary modification. However, the content and organization of lifestyle intervention programs are still debatable. Aims: To compare the longer term effectiveness of a group-based rehabilitation program with an individual counseling program at improving glycemic control, cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life among type 2 diabetes patients. Methods: We randomized 143 type 2 diabetes patients to either a 6-month group-based rehabilitation program, including patient education, supervised exercise, and diet intervention, or a 6-month individual counseling program. Follow-up time was 12 months after baseline. Outcome measures were glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), cardiovascular risk factors, quality-of-life and self-rated health. Results: In the rehabilitation group, HbA1c decreased 0.2%-point (95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.4, -0.03), systolic blood pressure decreased 6 mmHg (95% CI = -9.3, -2.5), diastolic blood pressure decreased 4 mmHg (95% CI = -6.3, -2.4), weight decreased 2.2 kg (95% CI = -3.2, -1.3), and waist circumference decreased 2.0 cm (95% CI = -2.9, -1.1). In the individual group, HbA1c decreased 0.4% (95% CI = -0.6, -0.1), systolic blood pressure decreased 3 mmHg (95% CI = -6.3, -0.7), diastolic blood pressure decreased 3 mmHg (95% CI = -4.7, -0.7), weight decreased 1.6 kg (95% CI = -2.6, -.7]), and waist circumference decreased 1.6 cm (95% CI = -2.5, -0.6). Vitality, fatigue distress, physical functioning and cardiovascular distress improved over time (P < 0.05) in the two groups combined. Repeated measurement analysis did not result in significant differences between the groups of any outcome. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that group-based rehabilitation in a primary healthcare center is a comparable alternative to individual counseling in an outpatient clinic. However, the resource use of the rehabilitation program was twice as much as the individual program.

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Soelberg Vadstrup, E. , Frølich, A. , Perrild, H. , Borg, E. and Røder, M. (2012) Lifestyle intervention by group-based rehabilitation versus individual counseling in type 2 diabetes: 1-year follow-up of the Copenhagen type 2 diabetes rehabilitation project. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 2, 308-315. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2012.23048.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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