Patients with diabetes who utilize mobile health technology (mHealth) to assist in lifestyle changes and self-management experienced improved outcomes, according to a study published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth.
While mHealth has become an increasingly popular avenue in improving the self-management of chronic disease like diabetes, the effectiveness of the technology is dependent on patient engagement. In this study, researchers evaluated patient tenement themes in diabetic patients who message their providers to identify if differences in engagement led to changes in glycated hemoglobin.
A total of 163 patients were enrolled in the study and were split into three mobile intervention groups and a control group. Participants in the control group received usual care while participants in intervention groups were provided access to a patient portal where they could record values for blood glucose, blood pressure, medication changes or other self-management information. Additionally, intervention participants could choose to send and receive messages from diabetes educators through the online portal.
Results showed participants were most engaged in glucose monitoring, medication management and reducing risks. The average number of messages sent per day was highest for glucose monitoring and healthy eating. When compared with the control group, sending any messages regarding glucose monitoring, medication and healthy eating led to a decrease in glycated hemoglobin.
“The findings from this study help validate the efficacy of the mobile diabetes intervention,” concluded first author Charlene Connolly Quinn, RN, PhD, and colleagues. “The next step is to determine differences between patients who engage in mobile interventions and those who do not engage and identify methods to enhance patient engagement.”