Dr. Annemien Haveman-Nies is Associate Professor at Wageningen University & Research and coordinator of the Academic Collaborative Centre AGORA at GGD Noord- en Oost-Gelderland. Her work at the interface of research, policy and practice contributes to the development of applied methods for the development of adaptation, implementation and evaluation of public health interventions. Within this knowledge infrastructure many lifestyle programs targeting specific groups have been investigated. One of these programs is SLIMMER: a smart way to prevent diabetes.
Since January 1, 2019, SLIMMER is as one the three so-called combined lifestyle interventions included in the basic health insurance package in the Netherland. For this achievement an extensive formal procedure has been completed. Important steps were obtaining the recognition ‘effective’ by the Dutch Recognition System for Interventions and complying with the standards for combined lifestyle interventions set by the Dutch Healthcare Authority.
SLIMMER is based on the SLIM study (Study on Lifestyle intervention and Impaired glucose tolerance Maastricht) which was designed to evaluate the effect of a combined diet and physical activity intervention programme on glucose tolerance in high-risk subjects. SLIM and many large-scale experimental trials have shown that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by lifestyle modification in this target group. This evidence has been translated and implemented in interventions in real-world settings, however, no (cost)effective diabetes prevention programme in Dutch primary health care was available at the start of the project in 2008. Therefore the SLIMMER study (SLIM iMplementation Experience Region Noord- en Oost-Gelderland) was started in which the SLIM intervention was translated and adapted to the Dutch context. In SLIMMER, primary care, sport and public health professionals, such as physiotherapists, dietitians, GPs/practice nurses, lifestyle coaches and care sport connectors work together. The cost-effectiveness study showed that a thorough preparation of translation and implementation has led to a cost-effective intervention to prevent type 2 diabetes which is feasible to implement in Dutch primary health care.