Lower-Intensity Interventions for Prediabetes: A Systematic Review

Eva Tseng*, Kwai Y. Lam, Kayla A. Meza, Matthew J. O'Brien, Nisa M. Maruthur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Systematic reviews of interventions for diabetes prevention have focused on lifestyle interventions, including the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and translations of the DPP. However, nationally, few people with prediabetes have joined or completed a DPP, with one cited barrier being committing to a yearlong program. This study was a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of lower-intensity lifestyle interventions for prediabetes on weight change, glycemia, and health behaviors. Methods: English-language studies from PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, and CINAHL from 2000 to February 23, 2022 were searched for RCTs of nonpregnant adults with prediabetes and elevated BMI and lower-intensity interventions (defined as ≤12 months and <14 sessions over 6 months). Two reviewers independently identified 11 trials, assessed study quality (using Cochrane risk-of-bias tool), and extracted data serially. A qualitative synthesis was conducted by outcome. Results: Only 1 of 11 trials of lower-intensity interventions was of high quality (>80% follow-up rate and low risk of bias). This 6-month study compared an app with standardized dietary advice, showing a 3-kg greater body weight reduction and 0.2% greater reduction of HbA1c. Discussion: The evidence on lower-intensity lifestyle interventions for diabetes prevention is limited by the small number and methodologic weaknesses of previous trials, and future research is needed in this area. Given the low uptake of and retention in evidence-based high-intensity programs, future work is needed to investigate the effectiveness of novel lower-intensity interventions offered with established DPP content of varying duration and intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)906-915
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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