The PROPELS study has been set up by the Universities of Leicester and Cambridge and is funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme.
We would like to recruit 1,300 individuals for the study, which looks at the effectiveness of three different physical activity promotion strategies. Our goal is to find sustainable ways to increase physical activity among people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future, in order to reduce this risk. The results will also be used by the government to help decide which physical activity promotion strategies to recommend in primary care.
About the study
The PROPELS study aims to recruit 1,300 men and women who have previously taken part in our research studies or have been identified from GP records as being eligible for the study. To be eligible individuals must have a blood glucose (sometimes referred to as blood sugar level) that is slightly raised but below the level at which diabetes is diagnosed.
Eligible individuals will attend a local testing centre for a baseline health assessment and will then be randomised (allocated by chance) to one of three physical activity promotion groups (see below). Individuals will be followed up after one and four years for a health and physical activity assessment.
Group 1: Detailed advice leaflet
Group 2: The same intervention as Group 1 plus
- the DESMOND (www.desmond-project.org.uk) “Walking Away from Diabetes” Programme plus a follow-up refresher 2.5 hr session every year until end of study in four years
Group 3: The same intervention as group 2 plus
- ongoing text message support to promote physical activity; participants will receive one text message a week for six months after the initial DESMOND session and once a month after this until the end of the study
- brief support telephone calls by trained educators, one week and six months after attending the DESMOND session
At the end of the study, we will compare physical activity levels in the three groups to try and identify the best method to promote and sustain increases in physical activity.
Who can take part?
- Men and women aged 40-75 years old
- Those identified with impaired glucose regulation (IGR, sometimes referred to as ‘pre-diabetes’) in the last five years. Impaired glucose regulation means that the blood glucose (sometimes referred to as blood sugar) level is slightly raised but below the level at which diabetes is diagnosed.
- Individuals who are comfortable using a mobile phone to send and receive text messages.
We ask local GP practices to help us identify people who might be eligible and send out invitation letters. You will need to be registered with a recruiting GP practice to be able to take part.
Information leaflet and privacy notice
For people who have received an invitation to take part, our information leaflet explains what the purpose of the PROPELs study is and what it involves. Please take time to read the information leaflet carefully to decide whether or not you wish to take part.
Gwen Brierley, Study Coordinator
Tel: 0800 085 6183
Address: MRC Epidemiology Unit
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
I have been invited to take part in the PROPELS study but do not have a history of Impaired Glucose Regulation – why have I been invited?
Not all people who take part in the study will have confirmed Impaired Glucose Regulation (IGR) at the time they are invited. When we search for people to invite we also take into account a number of factors that could indicate an increased risk of IGR. These include your ethnicity, sex, family history of diabetes, antihypertensive (blood pressure) treatment and Body Mass Index (a measure of your weight). If you have a combination of these factors that indicate that you are at increased risk we might invite you to take part. At your first appointment we will check you IGR status using a blood test. If this result comes back negative you will not be involved in the study any further.
I did not know I had Impaired Glucose Regulation – what does this mean?
Impaired glucose regulation (IGR) is a term that refers to blood glucose levels that are above the normal range but are not high enough for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. In most countries around 15% of adults have IGR based on World Health Organization criteria (WHO, 2006; Santaguida et al., 2005).
An estimated 5% of people with IGR develop type 2 diabetes per year. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and this is what the PROPELS study is interested in.
How can I take part?
To take part you need to be registered with one of our recruiting GP practices. If your medical notes have a record confirming that you have IGR or that you are at increased risk of having IGR but it has not been identified, you will receive an invitation in the post.
Please use the reply slip in the invitation to express your interest in taking part and our research team will get in touch with you.