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Feasibility and pilot study of an intervention to support active lifestyles in youth with type 1 diabetes : the ActivPals study

Mitchell, Fiona and Wilkie, Louise and Robertson, Kenneth and Reilly, John J and Kirk, Alison (2018) Feasibility and pilot study of an intervention to support active lifestyles in youth with type 1 diabetes : the ActivPals study. Pediatric Diabetes, 19 (3). pp. 443-449. ISSN 1399-543X

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Background: Evidence suggests youth with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) have lower levels of physical activity (PA) than the general population. The ActivPals intervention aimed to support youth with T1D to lead an active lifestyle. Methods: 20 youth aged 7- 16 with T1D were recruited to a pilot randomised controlled trial. PA and Quality of Life (QoL) were measured using Actigraph GT3X+ monitor and Pediatric QoL scales at baseline and one month follow-up. A two way mixed ANOVA showed indicative effects of the intervention. Qualitative interviews were carried out with 16 participants to explore perceptions of the intervention. Results: An increase in moderate -vigorous PA was reported in intervention and control group from baseline to follow up (F (1, 14)=5.83; p= 0.03), with no significant between group differences. Participants in both groups reported significantly less overall diabetes 'problems' (F (1, 16)=7.93; p=0.012) and significantly less lifestyle 'problems' (F (1, 16)=7.39 p= 0.015) at follow up. However, both groups also reported significant increases in 'problems' with the day to day diabetes routine (F (1,16) = 6.48; p= 0.022) at follow up. Parents reported significant increased worry about their child’s diabetes at follow up, in both groups (F (1, 14)=5.83; p= 0.046). There was no significant increase in reported hypoglycaemic occurrences despite increased PA. The qualitative data highlights that goal-setting, self-monitoring and social support were effective motivators for increasing PA. Conclusions: A larger trial with longer follow up should be conducted to explore the effect of the intervention on PA in youth with T1D.