Mobile phone support is associated with reduced ketoacidosis in young adults

Diabet Med. 2011 Aug;28(8):1001-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03302.x.


Aims: To determine if access to mobile phone support for sick-day management is associated with reduced hospital admissions with diabetic ketoacidosis in young adults aged 15-25 with Type 1 diabetes.

Methods: This was an observational study with data collected prospectively from January 2005 to December 2008. A mobile phone support service for sick-day management began in May 2005. Data from clinic attendees (group 1), including age, sex, diabetes duration, referral age, insulin therapy delivery, clinic attendance and HbA(1c) , were compared with clinic attendees with diabetic ketosis accessing sick-day management phone support (group 2), clinic attendees not accessing phone support and admitted with diabetic ketoacidosis (group 3) and non-clinic attendees admitted with diabetic ketoacidosis (group 4).

Results: Age was similar in all groups. Patients in group 3 had significantly shorter duration of diabetes (6.8 ± 3.1 years) than groups 1 or 2 (10.1 and 9.8 years, respectively). Diabetes control was poor in all presentations of diabetic ketoacidosis (groups 2-4, HbA(1c) > 97 mmol/mol, > 11%) and was significantly higher than clinic attendees without ketosis (HbA(1c) 70 mmol/mol, 8.6%; P < 0.001). There was similar attendance at the clinic across all three groups, 2.9 compared with 2.4 compared with 2.1 visits/year, respectively. Thirty-one patients accessed phone support on 83 occasions for sick-day management (mean 2.7 contacts/episode); two patients progressed to admission with diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis admission rates in the clinic population fell significantly from baseline, 0.10 to 0.05 admissions per patient per year (P < 0.05) in the third year.

Conclusion: Mobile phone support is associated with reduced progression of ketosis to diabetic ketoacidosis in young adults despite poor diabetes control.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult