Health Trainer service supports people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Patients at risk of developing type 2 diabetes have said that working with a Health Trainer will help them to improve their lifestyle and possibly reduce their risk of developing the disease an initial questionnaire has revealed.

The questionnaire formed part of the evaluation of a project GM CLAHRC are running with the Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust and the Find & Treat team at NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan.

The project aims to help the Health Trainer team, which forms part of the Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, to offer the Health Trainer service to people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes which can be delayed or even prevented by positive lifestyle change.

Of those who accessed the service and took part in the questionnaire, 91% (n=30) reported that they felt the Health Trainer encouraged them to set goals which would involve making positive changes to their lifestyle. 88% (n=29) then agreed that they are now more confident in making changes to their lifestyle and that seeing a Health Trainer had helped them in reaching goals they set to improve their lifestyle. This is echoed in one respondent’s comment: “I was greatly encouraged to make changes – not ‘told’ to. I was made to feel confident about the goals and that I could achieve them.”

After completing the Health Trainer service 76% (n=25) of respondents said they would be able to use the advice from their Health Trainer to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Results achieved are encouraging, one respondent stated: “I now eat a balanced diet and have lost two stones in weight. I walk regularly everyday”, similar comments are made by another respondent who said: “I changed my lifestyle. I am more active and eat healthily. Hopefully I am no longer at risk from diabetes.”

This is a follow-on project from the successful work the GM CLAHRC have previously done around type 2 diabetes prevention with the Health Trainer service in Bolton. Anna Betzlbacher, Improvement Manager from the GM CLAHRC said: “I am really pleased that the initial questionnaire has revealed that the Health Trainer service can be of great benefit to patients who are identified as being at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Health Trainers will be able to help these patients make crucial changes to their lifestyle and reduce the possibility of developing the disease.” The initial pilot phase has now come to an end and the full evaluation of project outcomes will be available in spring 2013. For further information please contact Anna Betzlbacher.