Recruitment & screening procedures

Using the school setting as an entry point to the community, the Feel4Diabetes-study reached more than 12,000 families (one or two parents from each family and at least one child) in the six “intervention” countries. Participating families went through a two-stage organized screening.

The 1st stage screening was delivered via the school setting with the completion of a self-reported screening tool (i.e. FINDRISC questionnaire) by the parents. From this screening, 4,513 parents were identified with FINDRISC >10 and referred in a discrete manner for the 2nd stage screening (a more detailed medical checkup) and invited to attend a series of counseling sessions delivered in local community health centers.

Country Belgium Bulgaria Finland Greece Hungary Spain Total
Number of participating schools 60 20 30 56 14 41 221
Number of participating families 1798 3032 1506 2286 1867 1703 12192

Feel4Diabetes intervention components

Feel4Diabetes project had two intervention components, namely the “targeting all families” and the “targeting high-risk families” for type 2 diabetes.

The “all-families” intervention component was implemented via the school setting by the primary school teachers and in collaboration with the local municipalities targeting all children and their families from the participating schools. The aim of this intervention component was to create a more supportive social and physical environment in schools and beyond school hours aiming to support all children and their families in adopting a healthy and active lifestyle. For the needs of this component the ToyBox school-based family-involved intervention was adapted to better serve the local contextual circumstances in each intervention country.

The “high-risk families” intervention component was targeting only the high-risk families as identified from the 1st screening (e.g. FINDRISC >10). These families were invited, in a discrete manner in order to avoid stigmatization of the child and the family, to attend counselling sessions delivered by trained health care professionals in any available local community settings. The number of counselling sessions delivered during the 1st school year was six, while during the 2nd school year one counselling session was delivered followed by a motivational text-message mobile intervention. This component was built on experience and learnings from previous face-to-face and mobile application interventions.

Feel4Diabetes two-component intervention: schematic illustration