Empowerment Program for People With Prediabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Practicing a health-promoting lifestyle is believed to be effective for delaying or preventing the onset of diabetes. However, although empowerment interventions have proven effective for encouraging the adoption of a health-promoting lifestyle in people with diabetes, these interventions are rarely promoted to people with prediabetes.


The aims of this study were to develop an empowerment program for people with prediabetes and to examine its efficacy in terms of the adoption of a health-promoting lifestyle and improvements in blood sugar, body mass index, and self-efficacy.


A randomized controlled trial was conducted between May and December 2013. A convenience sample of people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100–125 mg/dl during the previous 3 months was recruited from the health examination center of a hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Participants were assigned to either the experimental group or the control group using block randomization with a block size of 8. The experimental group (n = 38) participated in a 4-month empowerment program (the ABC empowerment program), which encouraged participants to practice a health-promoting lifestyle in three phases: awareness raising, behavior building, and results checking. The control group (n = 40) received routine clinical care. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, independent t test, paired t test, and generalized estimated equations.


After controlling for the differences at baseline and considering the interaction between group and time from baseline to 1 week and 3 months after completing the intervention, the generalized estimating equation showed significantly larger improvements in a health-promoting lifestyle, blood sugar, and self-efficacy in the experimental group than in the control group (p < .01). Furthermore, the experimental group achieved a larger reduction in body mass index than the control group at 3 months after completing the intervention (p = .001).

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

The empowerment program was shown to have short-term, positive effects on behavioral, physical, and psychosocial outcomes in a Taiwan population with prediabetes. The results of this study provide a useful reference not only for healthcare personnel when implementing empowerment interventions in people with prediabetes but also for nursing educators and healthcare policymakers.

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