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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Texas A&M: Coaching Better Health-Researchers Analyze Cost Effectiveness of Rural Weight Loss Interventions to Prevent or Delay Type 2 Diabetes

Drs. Tiffany Radcliff, and Murray Côté of the Texas A&M School of Public Health, along with colleagues from the University of Florida & the University of Colorado published a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that used data from a randomized trial to assess the cost-effectiveness of three levels of a lifestyle modification intervention based on nutrition education and behavioral coaching to a nutrition education-only approach.

Researchers randomly assigned obese adults to receive a standardized weight loss program. Participants received either eight sessions of nutrition education or eight, 16, or 24 sessions of a nutrition education program with behavioral coaching with physical activity goal setting and problem solving over two years to help maintain their healthy habits. Sessions were delivered through Cooperative Extension Service offices using a mix of in-person and telephone-based interactions. Researchers measured participants’ weight and diabetes status at the beginning and end of the trial. Quantitative modeling methods following the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards were used to predict changes in diabetes status and related measures of quality adjusted life years and health care costs over a five-year follow-up period.

The study results indicated that all of the intervention levels led to lower costs and greater quality adjusted life years than the education only program. Per-person costs of each program ranged from $90 for the education only intervention to $191 for 24 sessions of the intervention with behavioral coaching. The moderate level had the greatest relative improvement in quality adjusted life years and the low-dose level had the lowest costs.

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