Objective The Australian lifestyle intervention program Life! is only the second reported, large-scale diabetes prevention program. This paper describes the genesis and the successful establishment of Life! and its key outcomes for participants and implementation.
Research Design and Methods Life!, a behavior change intervention, comprises six group sessions over eight months. The Victorian Department of Health funded Diabetes Australia-Victoria to implement the program. Experience of the Greater Green Triangle diabetes prevention implementation trial was used for intervention design, workforce development, training and infrastructure. Clinical and anthropometric data from participants, used for program evaluation, was recorded on a central database.
Results Life! has a state-wide workforce of 302 trained facilitators within 137 organizations. 29,000 Victorians showed interest in Life! and 15,000 individuals have been referred to the program. In total, 8,412 participants commenced a Life! program between October 2007 and June 2011. 37% of the original participants completed the eight month program. Participants completing sessions one to five lost an average of 1·4 kg weight (p<0·001) and waist circumference of 2·5cm (p<0.001). Those completing six sessions lost an average of 2·4 kg weight (p<0·001) and waist circumference of 3·8 cm (p<0·001). The weight loss of 2.4 kg represents 2.7% of participants’ starting body weight.
Conclusion The impact of Life! is attributable to applying available evidence for the systems design of the intervention, and collaboration between policy makers, implementers and evaluators using the principles of continuous quality improvement to support successful, large scale recruitment and implementation.
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