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Diabetes Research


We collaborate to translate our research findings into novel interventions that improve the wellness of children and their families affected by diabetes. We invite you to learn more about our ongoing projects.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Studies

Type 1 Diabetes, Exercise and Mentoring (TEAM) Trial

A randomized controlled pilot trial using peer mentorship to increase physical activity and quality of life in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. This study aims to use peer mentors to support adolescents living with T1D to increase their physical activity (PA) and improve their mental health. We will recruit 60 adolescents between the ages 13 and 17 years with T1D in Winnipeg, and Mississauga, then randomly assign them to either the peer mentor intervention, or a control group who receive standard health recommendations for twelve weeks. The intervention will consist of 3 group or individual sessions weekly led by a young adult living with T1D that has adopted and sustained an active lifestyle. The young adult mentor will build internal motivation for behaviour change by fostering autonomy, mastery and a sense of relatedness during these sessions. The sessions will be a mixture of virtual and in-person sessions. We will measure changes in daily activity levels and quality of life. We will also conduct a qualitative study with some of the adolescents who receive the intervention about contextual factors that influenced their participation. The information gained will inform a larger definitive trial and could inform clinical practice guidelines with experimental evidence.
Dr. Jon McGavock

Type 2 Diabetes Studies

Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health in Adolescents with Type 2 Diabetes

Physical activity is an important part of managing type 2 diabetes in youth and has many physical and mental health benefits. In this study, we are aiming to support youth living with type 2 diabetes to be more physically active using a peer mentor program. The intervention will run for 12 weeks. All participants (intervention and control) will have a research visit at the beginning of the program, at the end of the program (12 weeks) and then three months later. 
Dr. Jon McGavock
Dr. Liz Sellers

Dialectal Behavioural Therapy to Enhance Health Behaviour Change for Adolescents living with Obesity

The purpose of this pilot randomized trial is to determine if it is feasible to deliver a treatment for teens, that includes emotional skills training, that will particularly enhance a teen's ability to be mindful, tolerate/manage distress, build and maintain positive relationships, as well as increase the family's ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with one another. The pilot trial will also determine if adding these skills to a conventional lifestyle change treatment will lead to better improvements in quality of life, mental well being and reduce levels of depression among teens living with obesity. 

Dr. Jon McGavock

iCARE 2.0: A Pilot Intervention of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy for Adolescents with Type 2 Diabetes

This study is evaluating the feasibility of offering youth and a caregiver a 16-week mental health skills intervention that incorporates elements of mindfulness, distress tolerance, and relationship support, in a virtual group session.  The goal is to address psychological distress, and improve quality of life.

Dr. Allison Dart
Dr. Brandy Wicklow

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Studies

The Indigenous Youth Mentorship Program

 Using a participatory action model, guided by the teachings of elders, knowledge keepers and youth on our team, we will build on the successes of the past 2 years to (1) explore a novel pathway through which IYMP can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in youth, through the Indigenous concept of Mino-pimatisiwin/bimaadiziwin "living in a god way", (2) deepen the reach of IYMP within existing communities, (3) explore relational models of rippling IYMP to new communities, and (4) study the process of moving IYMP from a university-based program to a sustainable community-led organization. This information will provide information and infrastructure to support rippling of other wellness promoting community-based programs across Canada.

Dr. Jon McGavock