Kerala Diabetes Prevention Program

Project Details


The Kerala Diabetes Prevention Program (K-DPP) is a group-based peer-support lifestyle intervention aimed at reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in high-risk individuals. The details of the K-DPP intervention program included increasing the consumption of fruit, vegetables and fibre; reducing the intake of carbohydrates with high glycaemic index and total and saturated fats; increasing physical activity; reducing tobacco use; reducing alcohol consumption; and setting realistic goals for weight loss and other lifestyle risks. The K-DPP intervention program consisted of the following four core components: (1) a group-based peer-support program consisting of 15 sessions for high-risk individuals, (2) peer-leader training and ongoing support for intervention delivery, (3) diabetes education resource materials and (4) strategies to stimulate broader community engagement.. The findings of this unique community-based intervention model using low technology and local expertise for reducing diabetes incidence are also relevant and have been applied to other LMICs as well as resource-poor settings in high-income countries. The program findings have been used to inform the future development, adaptation and implementation of diabetes prevention programs to reduce long-term diabetes risk in India and other LMICs. Lessons from this study will also be relevant and have applicability to other rapidly developing low- and middle-income countries with high burdens of type 2 diabetes.

The current project entitled “The long-term effects of a peer-led lifestyle intervention program on diabetes progression and cardiovascular risk: the Kerala Diabetes Prevention Program (K-DPP)” is the 7-year follow-up study of K-DPP and will be implemented in Kerala, India, through the collaboration between Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in Trivandrum, Kerala, and the University of Melbourne, Australia. The overall aim of this project is to evaluate the long-term effects of the Kerala Diabetes Prevention Program (K-DPP). The specific aims are:

  1. To measure the program effectiveness of K-DPP at 7 years from study recruitment
  2. To undertake an economic evaluation of K-DPP to measure the long-term value and return on investment
  3. To evaluate CE and program sustainability of K-DPP groups and related community activities after 7 years


  • Professor Brian Oldenburg
  • Professor Kavumpurathu Thankappan
  • Associate Professor Robyn Tapp
  • Professor Ajay Mahal
  • Assistant Professor Jeemon Panniyammakal
  • Doctor Sathish Thirunavukkarasu
  • Professor Edwin Fisher
  • Doctor Nitin Kapoor


NHMRC Project Grant - $209,400 - original project

NHMRC Project Grant - $850,000 - scale up

Research Publications

  • Oldenburg B, Absetz P, Dunbar JA, Reddy P, O’Neil A.  The spread and uptake of diabetes prevention programs around the world: a case study from Finland and Australia. Translational Behavioral Medicine 2011; 1(2): 270-282.
  • Daivadanam M, Absetz P, Sathish T, Thankappan KR, Fisher EB, Philip NE, Oldenburg B.  Lifestyle change in Kerala, India: needs assessment and planning for a community-based diabetes prevention trial. BMC Public Health 2013; 13(1): 95.
  • Sathish T, Williams ED, Pasricha N, Absetz P, Lorgelly P, Wolfe R, Fisher E. Cluster randomised controlled trial of a peer-led lifestyle intervention program: study protocol for the Kerala diabetes prevention program. BMC Public Health 2013; 13(1): 1035.
  • Aziz Z, Absetz P, Oldroyd J, Pronk NP, Oldenburg B. A systematic review of real-world diabetes prevention programs: learnings from the last 15 years. Implementation Science 2015; 10(1): 172.

Research Group

Non Communicable Disease Unit

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (including cancer), and promotion of mental health

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Nossal Institute for Global Health

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.