Evidence Summary

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Strategies to increase the level of physical activity among persons with Type 2 diabetes are generally effective

Sazlina SG, Browning C, Yasin S Interventions to Promote Physical Activity in Older People with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review, Frontiers in Public Health, 2013; 1: 71.

Review question

What is the effectiveness of strategies for promoting physical activity among persons aged 65years and older with Type 2 diabetes?


Type 2 diabetes among older adults is a growing public health problem.

Regular physical activity is one of the key elements in the management of Type 2 diabetes, however, many older adults remain sedentary.

How the review was done

Several electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed studies published between January 2000 and December 2012.

Studies were included if they compared different strategies to increase levels of physical activity in persons aged 65years and older with Type 2 diabetes.

 A total of 696 documents were identified in searches. Twenty-one eligible studies were reviewed, but only six studies were rated as good quality, and only one specifically targeted persons aged 65years and older.

The authors did not acknowledge any funding sources for this review.

What the researchers found

Personalized coaching, goal-setting, peer-support groups, technology supports (e.g. electronic reminders), and physical activity monitors were proven to increase the level of physical activity.

Strategies incorporating components from health behaviour theories (e.g., goal setting, problem solving, self-monitoring, and social support) as well as follow-up supports were effective.

There is still some uncertainty around the effectiveness of these strategies given the variation in the quality of existing studies.


Strategies to increase the level of physical activity among persons with Type 2 diabetes seem generally effective, but there is a lack of research evidence focusing on people aged 60years and above.

This summary is based on a review that was determined to be of medium methodological quality based on an assessment using the AMSTAR tool.



Systematic review
A comprehensive evaluation of the available research evidence on a particular topic.

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