The effects of a computer-tailored message on secondary prevention in type 2 diabetes: a randomized trial

Popul Health Manag. 2009 Aug;12(4):197-204. doi: 10.1089/pop.2008.0041.


The purpose of this study was to test the effect of computer-generated, tailored feedback on the quality of chronic disease management for type 2 diabetes when provided to a patient prior to a scheduled physician visit. A stand-alone computer application was developed to provide tailored feedback aimed at empowering patients to engage more actively in their diabetes management. Adults with type 2 diabetes (n = 203) were randomly assigned to groups receiving either efficacy (positive) messages (n = 68), risk (negative) messages (n = 67), or to a delayed treatment control group (n = 68). The intervention was delivered prior to a patient's visit with his or her physician so that patients would have the opportunity to discuss the messages at the clinical appointment. Although there were no significant differences in the percentage of participants who received intensified care or routine tests between the control and intervention groups, we learned that more directive messaging may be needed to help patients effectively manage their diabetes. Patients may benefit from directive feedback, providing them with specific questions to ask their physician that can lead to improved care, rather than receiving general and educational informational messages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • User-Computer Interface*