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      The diabetes network internet-based physical activity intervention: a randomized pilot study.

      Diabetes Care

      Computer Communication Networks, Computer-Assisted Instruction, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, physiopathology, rehabilitation, Exercise, Female, Humans, Internet, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Education as Topic, Pilot Projects, Treatment Outcome, Walking

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          Because of other competing priorities, physical activity (PA) is seldom addressed in a consistent way in either primary care or diabetes education. This 8-week pilot study evaluated the short-term benefits of an Internet-based supplement to usual care that focused on providing support for sedentary patients with type 2 diabetes to increase their PA levels. A total of 78 type 2 diabetic patients (53% female, average age 52.3 years) were randomized to the Diabetes Network (D-Net) Active Lives PA Intervention or an Internet information-only condition. The intervention condition received goal-setting and personalized feedback, identified and developed strategies to overcome barriers, received and could post messages to an on-line "personal coach," and were invited to participate in peer group support areas. Key outcomes included minutes of PA per week and depressive symptomatology. There was an overall moderate improvement in PA levels within both intervention and control conditions, but there was no significant improvement in regard to condition effects. There was substantial variability in both site use and outcomes within the intervention and control conditions. Internal analyses revealed that among intervention participants, those who used the site more regularly derived significantly greater benefits, whereas those in the control condition derived no similar benefits with increased program use. Internet-based self-management interventions for PA and other regimen areas have great potential to enhance the care of diabetes and other chronic conditions. We conclude that greater attention should be focused on methods to sustain involvement with Internet-based intervention health promotion programs over time.

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