Program ACTIVE 2 seeks volunteers

WVU to study effect of exercise on diabetes and depression

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –Type 2, or adult onset, diabetes is one of biggest public health crises facing Americans, and Appalachian states consistently rank among the worst for number of cases. Evidence suggests that exercise combined with counseling can improve the well-being of those coping with type 2 diabetes and depression that interferes with their ability to complete everyday tasks. The West Virginia University School of Medicine is now seeking volunteers with both conditions to help build upon existing research.

Program ACTIVE 2 (Appalachians Coming Together to Increase Vital Exercise) is a community-based study to help determine what treatments work best for people dealing with type 2 diabetes and depression. Treatment options include talk therapy (counseling), exercise and a combination of the two approaches.

Guy Hornsby, Ph.D., principal investigator for the WVU study and associate chair of the WVU Department of Exercise Physiology, said Program ACTIVE 2 will build upon research findings from Ohio University’s 2009 Program ACTIVE study.

“In the pilot study that set the stage for Program ACTIVE 2, we found that two out of three people with type 2 diabetes no longer felt depressed after they participated in the combination treatment group,” Dr. Hornsby said. “They also had improved blood sugar control, better quality of life and felt more confident and comfortable exercising. We expect that people in our current study will find similar benefits.”  

To be eligible for Program ACTIVE 2, participants must have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by a doctor for one year or longer. In addition, each person should be able to perform everyday activities, such as walking, light household chores and other activities without the use of a cane or other assistive device. All Program ACTIVE 2 participants will need approval from his or her primary care physician in order to take part in the study.

Those participating in Program ACTIVE 2 will be randomly separated into four study groups. People assigned to one of the exercise groups will receive a pass to a participating fitness center and will learn how to become active in a safe and supportive environment. These participants will also receive a pedometer and a glucose meter at no cost.  

Those assigned to talk therapy will meet with a local therapist for 10 counseling sessions. Each will focus on helping people learn depression coping skills to help manage their moods more effectively.

Regardless of their assigned group, all participants will attend WVU Extension’s Dining with Diabetes classes offered in a county near them at no cost.  These classes provide people with cooking tips to make healthy meals when you have diabetes.

Adults dealing with both type 2 diabetes and depression should call 1-855-DMACTIV (1-855-362-2848) to find out if participating in Program ACTIVE 2 would be a good fit for them.

Program Active 2 is funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and is a partnership between West Virginia University, Indiana University’s School of Medicine and Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.


For more information:
Leigh Limerick, communications specialist, 304-293-7087
lal: 03-05-12

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