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For general inquiries including collaborations, please contact Senior Program Manager Tanyana Jackiewicz:

Phone: (08) 6456 4616
Email: diabetes.research@health.wa.gov.au

Postal address

Children's Diabetes Centre
Telethon Kids Institute
PO Box 855
West Perth Western Australia 6872
Australia

Exercise app - acT1ve

We know from talking to young people with type 1 diabetes that it is challenging to manage blood glucose levels during physical activity.

The current exercise guidelines available vary and are challenging to follow.

We have been working with young people with type 1 diabetes, other researchers and app developers to create a new smartphone exercise app called acT1ve.

The app asks the user questions about the activity they are going to do, and based on this information, gives insulin and carbohydrate advice for the activity. The advice is based on international exercise guidelines.

We have tested acT1ve with a small group of young people with type 1 diabetes to see what they thought about it and would now like to trial it with a larger number of young people to use at home while being active.

Who can participate?

We are looking for:

  • young people aged 12-25 years
  • who have had type 1 diabetes for more than 6 months
  • exercising regularly, or willing to start exercising
  • own an iOS (Apple) or Android phone to use the app

What does it involve?

If you take part in this study we will ask you to come to the research unit at Perth Children's Hospital for three visits. The rest of the study will be done at home. You will be in the study for 12 weeks in total.

The study is split into three parts. Part 1 is to help you get used to the study devices. These are the Dexcom sensor, and Garmin activity monitoring watch. At Visit 1 we will give you the Dexcom sensor (if you do not have one) and the activity watch for you to use during the study and teach you how to use them. We will collect some information from you and give you a record book to record information like sick days, and travel/holiday periods.

After four weeks, we will ask you to complete some questionnaires about your diabetes and exercise which can be done at home. This is the start of part 2. In part 2 we would like you to exercise at home wearing the sensor and activity watch and following your normal diabetes treatment.

Part 3 starts with a visit to PCH to fill in the same questionnaires as before and to install the acT1ve app onto your phone. For the next four weeks, when you exercise you will be asked to use the acT1ve app to manage your diabetes, while wearing the sensor and activity monitoring watch.

At the end of the four weeks you will come for your last visit to fill in the same questionnaires as before as well as one new questionnaire to find out what you thought about the app. We will also ask some people to complete an interview to find out in more detail what you thought of the app and your experience in taking part in the study.

How can I find out more?

Participant information sheet

Email Vinutha.shetty@health.wa.gov.au or call 6456 4610 to talk to a member of the research team.

Exercise for improving hypoglycaemia awareness

Usually people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) know when they are going low by showing symptoms like becoming pale and shaky. This is called hypoglycaemia awareness.

However, some people with T1D are not able to feel their symptoms and so they may be at a higher risk of having a severe hypo.

Avoiding hypos for several weeks can improve hypoglycaemia awareness, but this often means running blood glucose levels quite high for a while, which is not an ideal solution.

We want to see if introducing a home-based program of exercise (either continuous low-intensity, or intermittent high-intensity cycling, three times per week) is practical, can improve hypoglycaemia awareness, time spent in target range (3.9 to 10 mmol/L) and reduce hypoglycaemia in individuals with T1D who have impaired hypo awareness.

Who can participate?

We are looking for:

  • individuals with type 1 diabetes aged 14-35 years,
  • who have impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia
  • do not regularly participate in high-intensity exercise
  • own an iOS (Apple) or Android phone
  • willing to use a Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, and Garmin exercise-monitoring watch during the trial period

What does it involve?

If you take part in this study we will ask you to come to the research unit at PCH for two visits. The rest of the study can be completed at home. The entire study will run over 18 weeks in total.

The study is split into four phases. Phase 1 goes for two weeks and is to help you to become familiar with the continuous glucose monitoring system if you have not used it before. We will also show you how to use the stationary exercise bike that you will use throughout the study, ask you to complete some questionnaires about your hypoglycaemia awareness and physical activity, and provide you with a hypoglycaemia symptom diary to record your hypos.

Phase 2 goes for four weeks, and will be your first 4-week exercise program. At the start of Phase 2, we will visit you at home to deliver the same exercise bike that you used in Phase 1 and also show you how to use the exercise monitoring watch that we would like you to use throughout the study. A researcher may be in contact to ensure that the activity-watch is correctly recording your exercise sessions. In the last two weeks of Phase 2, we will ask you to complete another hypoglycaemia symptom diary and a few more questionnaires, and if you had just completed the intermittent high-intensity exercise program, you’ll be asked to complete a short interview (~10-15 minutes), with one of our researchers.

Phase 3 goes for eight weeks, and is a break or ‘washout’ period before you start your second 4-week exercise program. We would still like you to continue to use the Dexcom CGM system (and exercise watch), so we will provide you with a fresh supply of sensors, but ask that you only continue to complete the type and level of exercise that you did before starting in the study. In the last two weeks of this phase, we would again like you to complete another hypoglycaemia symptom diary.

Phase 4 of the study involves the second 4-week exercise program. It is identical to Phase 2, except that if you completed the intermittent high-intensity program first, you will complete the low-intensity program during this phase, and vice-versa.

At the end of Phase 4, the study is complete and we will return to your home to collect the exercise bike, activity watch and any unused sensors.

How can I find out more?

If you would like more information please download the study information sheets below:

If you have any further questions or would like to participate, please contact Dr Mary Abraham (Mary.Abraham@health.wa.gov.au), Dr Wayne Soon (Wayne.Soon@health.wa.gov.au), or call 6456 4532 to talk to a member of the research team.

Testing how much protein is needed to prevent overnight hypos which can happen after exercise

When people with type 1 diabetes exercise at moderate intensity (e.g. jogging, cycling and swimming) in the late afternoon, this can cause hypos when they are sleeping. We also know protein can raise blood glucose levels for a few hours after a meal.

We are now running a study to see how much protein is necessary to prevent overnight hypos without causing high blood glucose levels. This is an important study for two reasons: (1) it would be ideal if we can prevent hypos without causing high blood glucose levels, (2) taking protein after exercise is useful for both muscle building and post-exercise muscle repair.

In this study, you will perform 45 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike in the late afternoon at Perth Children's Hospital, and drink a protein drink at home, later in the night. You will do this on three different days. You will also wear a Dexcom G5 sensor for the study days, which we will provide if you are not currently using this system.

You are eligible for this study if you have type 1 diabetes, are aged 12-25 years old, have had diabetes for more than one year, with HbA1c <9%, and are otherwise healthy.

For more information, please contact Niru Paramalingam, Nirubasini.Paramalingam@health.wa.gov.au.

 

Exercise intervention study

Physical activity is associated with improved psychological wellbeing, fitness and quality of life and may mitigate the risk of poor glycaemic control but maintaining stable blood glucose levels is a challenge and can present a barrier to engagement in exercise. Consequently, participation and fitness levels in adolescents with type 1 diabetes are lower than recommended.

Our researchers are developing and piloting an exercise intervention aimed at improving mental health outcomes in this population. The intervention is designed to increase physical activity engagement to improve psychological and physiological outcomes.