Examining the impact of a self-compassion intervention on physical activity behaviour among people with prediabetes: a pilot and feasibility study

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Signore, Alana
Strachan, Shaelyn
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People with prediabetes have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). Regular physical activity (PA) can reduce their T2D risk. However, people with prediabetes experience barriers to physical activity (i.e., difficult emotions) which makes them less active. These emotions can interfere with the self-regulation of PA. Self-compassion (SC) may help people with prediabetes engage in PA and reduce their T2D risk through its association with adaptive emotional responses and enhanced self-regulatory abilities. No study has examined whether self-compassion training can augment behaviour change training to improve physical activity among people with prediabetes more than behaviour change training plus attention. I took the recommended step of assessing the feasibility and acceptability of this planned intervention to inform the larger trial that aims to determine this research question. Descriptive statistics were reported for most feasibility outcomes whereas transcribed exit-interviews using a thematic analysis addressed the acceptability and remaining feasibility outcomes. Most outcomes met our pre-determined criteria deeming the intervention feasible and acceptable with minor changes; recruitment rate, process time and adherence to home practice were below our criteria and we offer suggestions to improve these inadequacies for the larger efficacy trial. Means of key variables suggest that the measures included will be appropriate for the larger trial. Findings from this study offer support for the planned efficacy trial to be successful.
self-compassion, prediabetes, physical activity, feasibility, acceptability