Evaluating the impact of mobile telephone technology on type 2 diabetic patients' self-management: the NICHE pilot study

J Eval Clin Pract. 2008 Jun;14(3):465-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2007.00881.x. Epub 2008 Mar 24.


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.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cell Phone*
  • Connecticut
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Care*