Effectiveness of a Multicomponent Intervention in Primary Care That Addresses Patients with Diabetes Mellitus with Two or More Unhealthy Habits, Such as Diet, Physical Activity or Smoking: Multicenter Randomized Cluster Trial (EIRA Study).

International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021;18(11)

Plain language summary

Life habits such as smoking, physical activity, and diet affect glycaemic control. The objective of this multicentre randomised cluster trial (EIRA study) was to evaluate the effectiveness of multicomponent educational interventions on glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetic patients. Interventions in multicomponent individual, group and community settings included smoking cessation, the Mediterranean diet and physical activity, as well as an assessment of the quality of life. Participants had unhealthy lifestyles prior to the intervention. The study was conducted in 26 primary healthcare centres in seven health departments in Spain over a period of 12 months. A brief intervention aimed to change the habits of the participants, including increasing physical activity, quitting smoking and adhering to the Mediterranean diet. After 12 months of intervention, there were no statistically significant improvements in glycaemic control, physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, or quality of life. However, adherence to the Mediterranean diet was statistically significant. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of multicomponent interventions in improving glycaemic control. The clinical applicability of multicomponent interventions to tackle type 2 diabetes, obesity, and unhealthy lifestyles should be considered by healthcare providers.


Introduction: We evaluated the effectiveness of an individual, group and community intervention to improve the glycemic control of patients with diabetes mellitus aged 45-75 years with two or three unhealthy life habits. As secondary endpoints, we evaluated the inverventions' effectiveness on adhering to Mediterranean diet, physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and quality of life. Method: A randomized clinical cluster (health centers) trial with two parallel groups in Spain from January 2016 to December 2019 was used. Patients with diabetes mellitus aged 45-75 years with two unhealthy life habits or more (smoking, not adhering to Mediterranean diet or little physical activity) participated. Centers were randomly assigned. The sample size was estimated to be 420 people for the main outcome variable. Educational intervention was done to improve adherence to Mediterranean diet, physical activity and smoking cessation by individual, group and community interventions for 12 months. Controls received the usual health care. The outcome variables were: HbA1c (main), the Mediterranean diet adherence score (MEDAS), the international diet quality index (DQI-I), the international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ), sedentary lifestyle, smoking ≥1 cigarette/day and the EuroQuol questionnaire (EVA-EuroQol5D5L). Results: In total, 13 control centers (n = 356) and 12 intervention centers (n = 338) were included with similar baseline conditions. An analysis for intention-to-treat was done by applying multilevel mixed models fitted by basal values and the health center: the HbA1c adjusted mean difference = -0.09 (95% CI: -0.29-0.10), the DQI-I adjusted mean difference = 0.25 (95% CI: -0.32-0.82), the MEDAS adjusted mean difference = 0.45 (95% CI: 0.01-0.89), moderate/high physical activity OR = 1.09 (95% CI: 0.64-1.86), not living a sedentary lifestyle OR = 0.97 (95% CI: 0.55-1.73), no smoking OR = 0.61 (95% CI: 0.54-1.06), EVA adjusted mean difference = -1.26 (95% CI: -4.98-2.45). Conclusions: No statistically significant changes were found for either glycemic control or physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and quality of life. The multicomponent individual, group and community interventions only showed a statistically significant improvement in adhering to Mediterranean diet. Such innovative interventions need further research to demonstrate their effectiveness in patients with poor glycemic control.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Hormonal
Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Multicomponent intervention
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Physical exercise
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition ; Exercise and movement
Functional Laboratory Testing : Blood
Bioactive Substances : None

Methodological quality

Jadad score : 3
Allocation concealment : No