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Dr. Martin Sénéchal by Rob Blanchard/UNB

UNB Seeks Participants For Type 2 Diabetes Project

By Brad Perry Aug 2, 2022 | 1:57 PM

A project that helps New Brunswickers manage their diabetes is seeking more participants.

The Band-Frail program is for people aged 65 and over who are living with Type 2 diabetes.

It is being led by the Cardiometabolic Exercise and Lifestyle laboratory (CELLAB) at the University of New Brunswick.

Dr. Martin Sénéchal, co-director of the CELLAB, said Band-Frail is a free 16-week lifestyle modification program.

“They basically receive supervision in terms of exercise, so they’re performing exercise using elastic bands. They also receive some diabetes education,” said Sénéchal, an associate professor in the faculty of kinesiology at UNB Fredericton.

The program is delivered twice a week by a Certified Diabetes Educator and an exercise specialist.

Participants will attend an exercise session twice per week for an hour. They will also participate in a weekly lesson designed by a diabetes educator to teach them about diabetes care.

Sénéchal said being active and eating well can be hard for some people to accomplish on their own.

“For people living with diabetes, it’s good to have someone who is waiting for them and help them to go through those changes,” he said.

“Although it might seem easy for someone to just move a little bit and manage their diabetes, it’s not that easy.”

The program received nearly $470,000 in government funding through the Healthy Seniors Pilot Project in early 2021.

According to a May 2021 blog post from UNB, the program is “based on evidence from a research trial conducted in Europe that saw improved outcomes for enhanced diabetes management and physical function in a similar population.”

“We believe that participants will see improved physical function as well as glycemic (blood sugar) control following the program. In addition, we expect the program to be cost-effective and to have a long-term impact on other health outcomes, including on duration of hospitalization and number of hospital admissions,” said the post.

The post notes that New Brunswick has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the country and a very high average age of residents.

According to Sénéchal, nearly 200 people have taken part in the program since it first launched.

The project is currently being held in Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Miramichi, Grand Falls, Minto, Hampton, Quispamsis, Sussex, and Edmundston, and expansion is expected for Woodstock, Rothesay, Sackville, and further locations.

“We’re really looking to pass the program onto communities so we can ensure the program stays out there once the funding is out and we can still give access to that for people living with diabetes,” said Sénéchal.

If you are interested in participating in this study, the deadline is Aug. 21. You can call 506-458-7034 or email cellab@unb.ca.


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