Process evaluation of a community-based diabetes prevention program in China: the Pathway to Health (PATH)
Strand, M.A.; He, M.; Johnson, R.; Perry, J.; Yin, Z.
Health Education Research 34(5): 521-531
High prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes has emerged as a concern in China. The Pathway to Health Program was designed to prevent type 2 diabetes onset in prediabetic women in a north China urban community. This process evaluation of a randomized controlled trial analysed participant surveys at the 6- and 12-month assessment times, participant weekly logs, class attendance records and post-study participant focus group results. The reported levels of participant engagement in physical activity (PA)-related behaviors were higher than diet-related behaviors at the 6-month assessment. The engagement in both PA- and diet-related behaviors declined during the 6-month follow-up period. Step counts from the participants' pedometers indicated an increase in PA in the first 6 months of the intervention. Study participants expressed high levels of satisfaction with the intervention and increased their scores on diabetes-related knowledge. Conflicts with work and family responsibilities were the main barriers for missing health lessons, likely contributing to minimal weight loss. There was good fidelity in program implementation. Intensive lifestyle modification programs are difficult to sustain once the program is complete. A more structured 6-month follow-up phase may have provided needed support to enable participants to maintain their lifestyle changes.