Recruitment starts for major type 1 exercise study

By Editor
7th November 2017
Research, Type 1 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes are being encouraged to take part in a study looking at supporting safe and effective exercise for those with the condition. 

The first part of the Exercise for Type One Diabetes (EXTOD) study involved developing a new education programme and is now complete.

The second stage is all about delivering the new education programme to people with type 1 diabetes. People taking part in this study will be randomised to receive either the new education programme or to continue their usual care. Those who are randomised to the usual care will be given a chance to attend the education programme at the end of the study. 

The pilot study, conducted by Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trustwill help researchers from the Musgrove Park Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre to test the effect of the programme and collect information that will help design a full clinical trial in the future. Researchers from Leicester Diabetes Centre developed the intervention.

Chief investigator Professor Rob Andrews, from the University of Exeter and an Honorary Consultant Physician at Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton, said: “We know that exercise is an important part of the management plan in people with type 1 diabetes. Regular exercise improves physical fitness and strength, reduces risks that are linked to developing heart disease and improves well-being in people with type 1 diabetes.

“Based on this evidence, organisations that give advice on managing diabetes recommend that people with type 1 diabetes should do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise.

“Studies have demonstrated that less than 40 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes participate in regular exercise. These studies found that common reasons people gave for not doing exercise were they worry that they will experience a ‘hypo’ and do not know how to adjust their insulin dose and diet in order to exercise.

“The studies also showed that if people with type 1 diabetes were given the knowledge and skills to manage their blood glucose levels safely and effectively while exercising, they felt encouraged to exercise more.”

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, a Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and also from the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “This project could eventually be hugely significant to thousands of people with Type 1 diabetes across the country because we don’t yet have a validated education programme covering this area. The Leicester Diabetes Centre is therefore excited to be developing the educational component of this project, using our expertise and track record of developing this type of group-based education.”

Those who have type 1 diabetes and are aged between 18 and 70, have knowledge about carbohydrate counting, have attended a DAFNE course (or equivalent carb counting course) and are doing more than 30 minutes of exercise twice a week are eligible to take part. Those who use insulin pumps or have problems in sensing when their blood sugars are falling too low (hypo unaware), are unable to participate.

The researchers are hoping to develop an education programme in the future for people who are not doing very much exercise, are on insulin pumps or have hypo unawareness.

This who sign up must attend eight appointments over a period of eight months. They will take place at a hospital or diabetes centre in Taunton or Birmingham  and travel and parking expenses will be reimbursed.

Email Catherine.Thompson@tst.nhs.uk or Gulvinder.GIll@uhb.nhs.uk to sign up or ask more questions about the study.

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