Implementing Digital Diabetes Prevention programmes to promote patient engagement and scale up

Claire Haseldine is a student on the Collaborative Doctoral Programme in Chronic Disease Prevention (CDP CDP) funded by the Irish Health Board.  Her PhD project (2020-2024) will focus on the implementation of the National Diabetes Prevention Programme and ways to support participation in and scale up of the programme.  The project is supervised by Dr Sheena McHugh UCC, Professor Patricia Kearney UCC and Dr Grainne O Donoghue UCD.

Why are we doing this research?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious chronic disease which places a significant burden on individuals and on health systems. Large scale studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented in those who are at high risk of developing the disease by participating in lifestyle change programmes. Many people must take part in the programme for it to impact significantly on the rates of people developing diabetes.

Research is needed to understand why people do or do not participate in diabetes prevention programmes and how to improve that participation in a way that includes those who need it the most.

What is involved?

The project will consist of three studies:

1.  A mixed methods study to understand the reasons people do and do not participate in the national diabetes prevention programme.

2. A systematic review to identify the best ways to promote participation and uptake in digital diabetes prevention  programmes and to examine their impact on health inequalities.

3. A co-design study involving people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes, healthcare professionals and with managers in the health system to develope and engagement plan to support the roll out of the National Digital Diabetes Prevention Programme.

Diabetes Prevention Project Outputs


  • Clair Haseldine, Grainne O’Donoghue, Patricia M. Kearney, Fiona Riordan, Claire Kerins, Liz Kirby, Margaret Humphreys, Sheena McHugh. Factors influencing participation in an online national diabetes prevention programme: A qualitative study with attenders and educators. Diabetic Medicine 27 Dec 2023 
  • Haseldine C, O'Donoghue G, Kearney PM,  Riordan F, Humphreys M, Kirby L, McHugh S. Characteristics of participants in the first fully online National Diabetes Prevention Programme: A quantitative survey [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. HRB Open Res 2023, 6:61 (

Research Summaries

  • Collaborative Doctoral Programme for Chronic Disease Prevention (CDP CDP) Blog


  • The International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) 22nd Annual Meeting. Uppsala, Sweden (Poster Presentation) " Healthcare professionals’ perspectives on barriers and facilitators to referral and recruitment to diabetes prevention programmes: a systematic review protocol." Presenter: Clair Haseldine. 14-17 June 2023
  • The International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) 22nd Annual Meeting. Uppsala, Sweden (Oral Presentation) "Understanding participation in an online diabetes prevention programme".  Presenter: Clair Haseldine. 14-17 June 2023
  • Structured Population heath, Policy and Health-services Research Education (SPHeRE) 2023 Annual Conference: SPHeRE Network 9th Annual Conference. Dublin, Ireland (Poster Presentation) "Understanding participation in the online National Diabetes Prevention Programme. A mixed methods study" Presenter: Clair Haseldine. 23 March 2023 

Health Implementation Research Hub

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