Lifestyle tool health behaviors

Developing a Lifestyle Tool to Initiate, Change and Maintain Health Behaviours in Type 2 Diabetes [Seed Funding]

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has a major impact on public health and is a worldwide pandemic with predictions of up to 700 million individuals diagnosed by 2045 (2019:463 million). It is a lifestyle-diet related disease and the time to guide people on how to manage it properly is long overdue.

People with T2D (compared to those without) have more metabolic problems, greater use of medication, a higher prevalence of comorbidities, and a lower quality of life. These factors may potentially affect an individual’s ability to live healthily and to make the right lifestyle choices. However, many people with T2D fail to adhere to lifestyle intervention programs and this may be due to a number of factors including support termination, lack of determination, resilience, coping skills and personalization.

We interviewed 17 people with T2D who indicated major turning points in their lives(e.g. physical illness, psychological trauma, job loss) which prevented them from living healthily. This qualitative study and a systematic review from our group furthermore suggested the need for psychological interventions to support people in their efforts to live healthy over the long-term.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that was found to be effective in maintaining weight loss, a key determinant in T2D. Lifelong healthy living with CBT has never been investigated in T2D. Therefore, the current project aims to establish which factors are needed to develop a lifestyle tool based on CBT principles that is focused on sustaining healthy behaviours over the long-term at the individual level. This project fits within the Herbert Simon Healthy Lifespan and Personalized Prevention and Care topics.

Team Composition

Dr. Sabita Soedamah-Muthu is an expert in clinical and nutritional epidemiology research. She has a large (inter)national network, is involved in grant committees of the Dutch Diabetes Foundation and the Netherlands Heart Foundation. She is also the lead scientist from TiU involved in the Lifestyle4health program which aims to reduce disease, complications and medication use and will facilitate to create impact with this project. She has a proven track record in diabetes research and methodological and statistical expertise to set up the studies needed for this project.

Dr. Ruth Mark’s research expertise is in the field of clinical neuropsychology. She is currently working in the field of Person Centred Care. She is involved in evaluation of the Innovate Dementia living labs and is currently designing an online digital platform to make Personalized Cognitive Diagnostics possible.

Cross-cutting themes

The Herbert Simon Research Institute for Health, Well-being, and Adaptiveness is a research center devoted to carrying out excellent, state of the art research in order to contribute to healthy and resilient people. We have selected three themes, which involve the collaboration between various Departments  and address actual themes in need of both fundamental and applied research.