The continuous process of making research inclusive: Examples offered from the small steps for big changes diabetes prevention program


Small Steps for Big Changes is an evidence-based diabetes prevention program which is being implemented in the community in partnership with the YMCA in British Columbia, Canada. It was designed to be a sustainable and accessible community program. While Small Steps for Big Changes has been shown to be effective in helping individuals with prediabetes to reduce their risk of developing T2D, there is room for improvement in making the program more inclusive to everyone, especially those at increased risk for T2D due to systemic factors. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the steps taken within Small Steps for Big Changes (SSBC) to improve equitable access and inclusivity within the program. The changes made within SSBC can be used as examples for making other community health programs more inclusive. Changes include, but are not limited to: budget-friendly food and exercise recommendations, involving stakeholders in decision-making, offering a virtual program option, training coaches in cultural safety and inclusivity, increasing the diversity of people shown in promotional materials, expanding inclusion criteria, and making measurements more inclusive and safe. In addition to outlining and justifying changes made to Small Steps for Big Changes, this presentation also provides actionable recommendations for other researchers to incorporate into their own health programs to promote inclusivity and ensure that they reach those most affected by health inequities.