Scaling Up Diabetes Prevention in Victoria, Australia: Policy Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

James Dunbar, Abirami Jayawardena, Greg Johnson, Karen Roger, Amy Timoshanko, Vincent Versace, Jane Schill, Benjamin Philpot, Erkki Vartiainen, Tiina Laatikainen, James Best, Edward Janus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVE: The Australian lifestyle intervention program Life! is only the second reported, large-scale diabetes prevention program. This article 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 8 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, were recorded on a central database. RESULTS: Life! has a statewide workforce of 302 trained facilitators within 137 organizations. Over 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, and 37% of the original participants completed the 8-month program. Participants completing sessions 1 to 5 lost an average of 1.4 kg weight (P < 0.001) and waist circumference of 2.5 cm (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. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of Life! is attributable to applying available evidence for the system's 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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)934-942
    Number of pages9
    JournalDiabetes Care
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


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