Rationale, aims and objectives: Utilizing information technology, such as Internet and cellphones, holds great promise in enhancing diabetic care. Yet few studies have examined the impact of cellphone technology on type 2 diabetics' self-care. The primary aim of the study is to examine the feasibility of utilizing this technology to assist with diabetes self-care in a clinic population as well as its impact on clinical outcomes.
Methods: Thirty patients with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at two Community Health Centers were randomized to intervention or control. Intervention patients participated in a brief intervention and received tailored daily messages via cellphone prompting them to enhance their diabetic self-care behaviour. Patients at the control site continued with their standard diabetes self-management.
Results: A mean improvement in HbA1c levels was apparent (-0.1, SD = 0.3%; P = 0.1534) in the intervention group, compared with a mean deterioration in the control (0.3, SD = 1.0%; P = 0.3813), yet without statistical significance. Self-efficacy scores improved significantly in the intervention group (-0.5, SD = 0.6; P = 0.0080) compared with no improvement in the control (0.0, SD = 1.0; P = 0.9060). Participants encountered numerous technological barriers when attempting to adhere to the intervention protocol.
Conclusion: The results indicate the intervention had a positive impact on some clinical outcome and self-efficacy. Although the technology appears feasible in a clinical setting technology must be made more user-friendly before a larger phase II trial is conducted.