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Prev Chronic Dis. 2013;10:E12. doi: 10.5888/pcd10.120149.

Designing a natural experiment to evaluate a national health care-community partnership to prevent type 2 diabetes.

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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 750 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


To address the growing incidence of type 2 diabetes in the United States, UnitedHealth Group, the YMCA of the USA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have partnered to bring a group-based adaptation of the Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention to a national scale. Researchers at Northwestern and Indiana universities are collaborating with these partners to design a robust evaluation of the reach, effectiveness, and costs of this natural experiment. We will employ a quasi-experimental, cluster-randomized study design and combine administrative, clinical, and programmatic data from existing sources to derive reliable, timely, and policy-relevant estimates of the program's impact and potential for sustainability. In this context, evaluation results will provide information about the unique role of a health care-community partnership to prevent type 2 diabetes.

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