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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Effects of lifestyle education program for type 2 diabetes patients in clinics: study design of a cluster randomized trial

Misa Adachi1, Kazue Yamaoka2*, Mariko Watanabe3, Masako Nishikawa2, Eisuke Hida2, Itsuro Kobayashi4 and Toshiro Tango25

Author Affiliations

1 Doctoral Course of National Institute of Public Health, 2-3-6 Minami, Wako, Saitama 351-0197 Japan

2 Department of Technology Assessment and Biostatistics, National Institute of Public Health, 2-3-6 Minami, Wako, Saitama 351-0197 Japan

3 Department of Human Nutrition, Graduate School of Human Ecology, Showa Women's University, 1-7 Taishido, Setagaya, Tokyo 154-0004 Japan

4 Kobayashi Medical Clinic, Ryokujukai Cooperation, 5-27-28 Sagamiono, Sagamihara city, Kanagawa 252-0303 Japan

5 Center for Medical Statistics, SAN Building 401, 2-9-6 Higashi Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0021 Japan

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:742  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-742

Published: 30 November 2010



The number of patients with type 2 diabetes is drastically increasing worldwide. It is a serious health problem in Japan as well. Lifestyle interventions can reduce progression from impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes, and glycemic control has been shown to improve postprandial plasma glucose levels. Moreover, several studies have suggested that continuous interventions (combined diet and exercise) can improve the plasma glucose level and reduce dosage of hypoglycemic agents.

Although many interventional studies of lifestyle education for persons with diabetes in hospitals have been reported, only a few have been clinic-based studies employing an evidence-based lifestyle education program. This article describes the design of a cluster randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of lifestyle education for patients with type 2 diabetes in clinics by registered dietitians.


In Japan, general practitioners generally have their own medical clinics to provide medical care for outpatients in the community, including those with type 2 diabetes. With the collaboration of such general practitioners, the study patients were enrolled in the present study. Twenty general practitioners were randomly allocated to each provide patients for entry into either an intervention group (10) or a control group (10). In total, 200 participants will be included in the study. The intervention group will receive intensive education on lifestyle improvement related to type 2 diabetes by registered dietitians in clinics. Lifestyle education will be conducted several times during the study period. The control group will receive information on dietary intake and standard advice on glycemic control by registered dietitians. The primary endpoint is the change from the baseline value of HbA1c at 6 months. Data on health behavior and related issues will be gathered continuously over a 6-month period.


This is the first study to evaluate lifestyle education in clinics by a cluster randomization trial in Japan. The proposed study will provide practical information about the usefulness of the intensive lifestyle improvement education program in primary care settings. The study was started in September 2007 and entry of subjects was completed in December 2010. Data on the effect evaluation will be available in 2011.

Trial Registration