Diabetes and exercise research – What matters to people with diabetes?

Nika Klaprat and Jon McGavock

Exercise is important for people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), yet only one-third of people with T1D meet the minimum recommendations for regular exercise to achieve health benefits. A research team led by Diabetes Action Canada researcher Dr. Jon McGavock and his trainee Nika Klaprat, wanted to learn what patient-engagement practices had been used in exercise-based randomized trials in type 1 diabetes, and if they aligned with what T1D stakeholders considered the top 10 priorities for exercise research.

The team first looked at all the relevant research on T1D and exercise that met their criteria and determined that patient engagement methods have not been historically used to inform exercise-based interventions. After learning this, they developed a national survey, a steering committee and a one-day workshop to focus on having a diverse group of stakeholders in the T1D community (patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers from a wide range of backgrounds) identify their priority research questions about exercise and health. These findings provide a patient-centred rationale for designing future randomized trials of exercise interventions that have meaning for those living with T1D.

Their paper, Filling gaps in type 1 diabetes and exercise research: A scoping review and priority-setting project, was recently published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. The paper is open access and available to all.


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