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Update from the SBM Diabetes SIG

Caroline R. Richardson, MD, Diabetes SIG Liaison

The Diabetes Special Interest Group is a forum for Society of Behavioral Medicine members with an interest in the advancement of behavioral and psychological research in diabetes. This year has brought major changes to the SIG leadership team and we would first like to give a big thank you to Korey Hood, Jen Averyt and Todd Doyle for the leadership they have provided for the SIG in the past years.  This year's new SIG activities will be coordinated by

Caroline Richardson--Chair (caroli@umich.edu),
Barbara Stetson--Annual meeting coordinator (barbara.stetson@louisville.edu) and
Erin Alexis Olson--Student co-chair (olson29@illinois.edu)

The Diabetes SIG has started the planning and coordination process for next year’s SBM annual meeting.  One of our major initiatives will focus on implementation research for diabetes prevention.   Type 2 Diabetes is a preventable disease.  Multiple large randomized controlled trials have proven that type 2 diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle interventions.  The lifestyle change that is required is modest, resulting in a weight loss of just 7% of body weight or about 18 lbs for a 250 lb person. The impact is long lasting with a reduction in diabetes rates seen 10 to 20 years after the intervention ends.  The evidence is overwhelming and the benefits are substantial, but most high risk individuals are not aware of their risk status and do not have access to effective programs.

The CDC estimates that about 35% of American adults, or almost 80 million people, have pre-diabetes.  Because the scale of the epidemic is so large, individual counseling by a skilled behavioral interventionist can only work for a small minority of those in need.  To address problems of scale, cost and limited manpower, group based interventions with one lifestyle coach working with 10 to 20 per-diabetic clients in a group have been tested and shown to be effective.  Researchers are also testing automated, internet-mediated programs that can reach large numbers of patients at a low marginal cost or peer or lay-lead diabetes prevention group interventions to further decrease costs and expand reach.  While the limited number of skilled behavioral interventionists is an important implementation barrier, there are a number of other implementation road blocks that need to be overcome to reduce the incidence of diabetes.

Traditional models of one-on-one counseling will need to be replaced by more scalable options including group based interventions, automated internet-mediated options and peer delivered interventions that can be delivered at scale. The CDC has launched the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP, http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/).  Materials and training to support diabetes prevention program development are available for free through the NDPP web site. Additionally, institutions that deliver diabetes prevention programs that are consistent with national guidelines can register their programs for recognition through the NDPP.

At the next SBM Annual Meeting, the Diabetes SIG hopes to highlight some of the implementation innovations lead by our members across the country.  If you are interested in presenting at the next SBM annual meeting on the topic of diabetes prevention implementation or any other topic related to diabetes, contact a member of the SIG leadership team or post a message to our list serve.

We hope that you will also post information on jobs, news, and updates of interest to our SIG. Send a message to diabetes@list.sbm.org to post.