Support Your Patients with Resources and Referrals
Once patients are ready to initiate lifestyle changes for type 2 diabetes prevention, they will likely need support to reach their goals. You may choose to provide this support directly or refer patients to resources or intervention programs designed to support lifestyle change.
- Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: This NIDDK resource helps people assess their risk for developing diabetes and implement a program to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
- As part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs are offered in more than 500 varied locations such as local YMCAs, community centers, medical clinics, faith-based organizations, and worksites, and are also available online. Participants meet in groups or online with a trained lifestyle coach for 16 weekly sessions and 6–8 monthly follow-up sessions. Out-of-pocket costs for a full year of program participation are approximately $400–$500, with many program providers offering monthly payment plans and discounts based on ability to pay. A growing number of private insurers cover patient participation in diabetes prevention programs, and several employers include the program as part of workplace wellness programs. Find a recognized program.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers nutrition information for the public. In addition, registered dietitians are uniquely skilled in developing nutrition plans for weight loss and diabetes prevention. Although counseling for prediabetes is not covered through Medicare, coverage varies with other insurers. Find a registered dietitian.
- The Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists can help you learn how to make changes in lifestyle to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes by focusing on eating healthy, adding physical activity to your life, dealing with stress, coping with challenges that can derail your hard work, and getting back on track if you stray from your plan. Diabetes education is a recognized part of your diabetes care and is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans when it is offered through an accredited diabetes education program, which has met vigorous criteria set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Find a program.
- Healthways Silver Sneakers Fitness programis designed for encouraging physical activity in older adults. More than 65 Medicare health plans offer the program as a benefit to members. Find a program.
- Local hospitals, health departments, libraries, senior centers, or faith-based organizations may offer additional programs or seminars about type 2 diabetes prevention. Find a local health department.
- Group weight loss programs led by health care professionals or peer models and offered in person or online may be available to offer behavioral support.
- The use of technology can be considered for self-monitoring, feedback, behavior change, coping strategies, and games or simulation experiences. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these technologies, but they are currently available and widely used.
- Although not focused exclusively on the goal of diabetes prevention, other commercial weight loss programs, such as Weight Watchers, are widely available and may be of interest to many patients.
- For any commercial program, patients should be informed of possible fees and that the weight loss goals and strategies advised by these programs may not have been studied as extensively for adults with prediabetes.
- Although many of these strategies may also prove helpful, their potential benefit relative to a “DPP” approach may not yet be known. For this reason, patients should be advised to avoid programs that promise dramatic weight losses or advise drastic dietary restrictions that could be hard to maintain or even prove harmful.
For Health Care Professionals
- Refer to a CDC-recognized Lifestyle Change Program: As part of the Congressionally authorized National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP)1, CDC recognizes and monitors lifestyle change programs that use trained lifestyle coaches to deliver an evidence-based curriculum, report results to CDC, and demonstrate effectiveness in behavior and weight change. The intervention empowers patients with prediabetes to take charge of their health and well-being. At these sessions, patients learn ways to incorporate healthier eating and moderate physical activity, as well as problem-solving, stress-reduction, and coping skills, into their daily lives.
- Find a recognized program.
- Or, to offer your own CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, read the National Standards, download an approved curriculum, and apply for recognition. CDC also provides links to organizations that offer lifestyle coach training. Go to www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/lifestyle-program/index.html.
- University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Prevention Support Center (DPSC): Group Lifestyle Balance™ Program is a comprehensive and effective lifestyle behavior change program adapted directly from the successful lifestyle intervention used in the DPP. The DPSC provides training on administration of the Group Lifestyle Balance Program to interested health care professionals via a 2-day workshop.
- The original DPP curriculum from the NIH-funded DPP study is available online. The curriculum manuals may be downloaded, duplicated, and otherwise distributed for educational or research purposes, provided proper credit is given to the DPP Research Group.
- CDC’s The Road to Health Toolkit provides materials to start a community outreach program reinforcing the message that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented. It is designed for African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos at risk for type 2 diabetes. The toolkit also includes training and evaluation materials for the health workers, CDC partner organizations, and other health professionals who use the toolkit.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers information about nutrition and the role of registered dietitians. Registered dietitians are uniquely skilled in developing nutrition plans that can be customized for weight loss and diabetes prevention. Although counseling for prediabetes is not covered through Medicare, coverage varies with other insurers. Find a registered dietitian.
- Exercise is Medicine calls on health care team members to assess and review every patient’s physical activity program at every visit and supports the health care team with resources to provide physical activity prescriptions.
The Patient-Centered Medical Home model emphasizes coordinated care integrated across settings, including in the patient’s community. Health care teams should become familiar with resources in their community so that they can make appropriate referrals. Community health workers can play an important role in this process. Learn more about developing community partnerships.