Introduction: The Internet has emerged as a potentially effective medium for information exchange. The Internet's potential has been recognised and web-based education programmes have been steadily adopted in recent years in preventing and managing chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus. This review provides a descriptive discussion of web-based behavioural interventions for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Method: Systematic literature searches were performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE, PUBMED, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Cochrane Library to retrieve articles published between 2000 and June 2010 which fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Methodological quality assessment and data synthesis were then performed.
Results: Twenty articles representing 13 different studies were reviewed. None of the studies were ranked as low in the methodological quality. Goal-setting, personalised coaching, interactive feedback and online peer support groups were some of the successful approaches which were applied in e-interventions to manage type 2 diabetes mellitus. Strong theoretical background, use of other technologies and longer duration of intervention were proven to be successful strategies as well.
Conclusion: The web-based interventions have demonstrated some level of favourable outcomes, provided they are further enhanced with proper e-research strategies.
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