Background: A negative diabetes screening test may unintentionally provide reassurance, resulting in reduced incentive to follow a healthy lifestyle. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess negative test result effects on lifestyle and risk perception at 4 years follow-up. Methods: Risk perception and changes in smoking, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference were compared between 706 high-risk participants with a negative test result and 706 high-risk participants not offered screening (controls) in a randomized controlled trial of diabetes screening. Results: Negative-screened individuals experienced a small but significant increase in BMI and waist circumference, but there was no significant difference with controls. The negative-screened group had significantly higher perception of risk of developing diabetes (p = 0.009) than controls, but no differences were observed in perceived personal control, worry, and optimistic bias. Conclusion: Screening negative for diabetes did not lead to overt long-term changes in lifestyle, despite a high perception of risk of developing diabetes. (ISRCTN75983009.)

Diabetes, Lifestyle, Reassurance, Risk perception, Screening,
Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Willems, J.I, Otto, S.J, Klijs, B, & de Koning, H.J. (2014). Screening for type 2 diabetes in a high-risk population: Effects of a negative screening test after 4 years follow-up. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 47(1), 102–110. doi:10.1007/s12160-013-9525-3