Behavioural determinants of uptake and adherence to a dietary supplement to manage type 2 diabetes

Kirsten Ashley, Kieran Smith, Lise Høj Brunsgaard, Emma Stevenson, Daniel West, Leah Avery

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


To identify behavioural determinants of uptake and adherence to a commercial whey protein supplement.
Interventions that target diet and physical activity are effective for improving glycaemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. However, initiating and sustaining these changes remains challenging. Whey protein supplements offer an alternative management approach, yet little is known about what might influence uptake and adherence. We therefore conducted a qualitative study to explore behavioural determinants of uptake and adherence to the protein supplement.
Twenty-two adults with type 2 diabetes who were participating in a double-blind cross-over RCT to assess the effect of the whey supplement were invited to take part in a semi-structured interview. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed by two researchers.
Fifteen participants consented to take part in an interview. The most salient determinant of uptake was the expectation that the supplement would be more effective than traditional management approaches. Determinants of adherence included palatability; the belief it was an appetite suppressant; and that it led to healthier lifestyle choices. However, storage requirements could lead to participants forgetting to take as prescribed. Overall, the supplement was considered an acceptable management option.
Whey protein supplements represent a viable management option for adults to manage their type 2 diabetes. Findings suggest that patient uptake will be driven by conveying information that the supplement is effective for suppressing appetite and improving glycaemic control. Adherence will be determined by palatability and behavioural prompting to ingest the supplement as prescribed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2021
EventDivision of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2021 -
Duration: 29 Jun 202130 Jun 2021


ConferenceDivision of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2021


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