Weight maintenance interventions for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review protocol

Sarah Sauchelli*, Julia Bradley, Jennifer Cox, Clare England, Rachel Perry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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BACKGROUND: Weight loss maintenance is a challenge for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which attenuates the long-term benefits of weight loss for diabetes management. Medication, specific dietary requirements and the psychosocial burden of T2DM signify that weight loss maintenance designed for obesity may not suit people with T2DM. The primary objective of this review is to comprehensively evaluate existing weight maintenance interventions for people with or at high risk of T2DM.

METHODS: We registered a protocol for the systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised and non-randomised weight maintenance interventions for T2DM. Studies included will have been carried out in adults with clinical diagnosis of T2DM or pre-diabetes. All intervention types will be accepted (e.g. behavioural/lifestyle change and pharmacological). The primary outcomes will be weight control, glycaemic control and adverse effects. Secondary outcomes will include cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, blood pressure control), psychological wellbeing (including health-related quality of life), change in glucose medication and waist circumference. Multiple electronic databases will be searched such as MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, PsychINFO and international registers (e.g. Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, WHO ICTRP). OpenGrey will be searched for grey literature. Two researchers will screen all citations and abstracts. This process will also be conducted by an additional researcher using a semi-automated tool to reduce human error. Full-text articles will be further examined by the researchers to select a final set for further analysis, and a narrative synthesis of the evidence will be presented. Potential sources of heterogeneity will be assessed, and a meta-analysis will be conducted if feasible. Risk of bias will be evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the certainty of evidence using the GRADE (grading of recommendations, assessment, development and evaluation) approach.

DISCUSSION: This review will critically appraise existing weight maintenance interventions targeting T2DM. Findings will inform future intervention development to support people with T2DM delay weight regain and prolong successful diabetes management.


Original languageEnglish
Article number210 (2020)
Pages (from-to)210
Number of pages7
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2020


  • Weight maintenance
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Systematic review


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