Eliminating disparities among Latinos with type 2 diabetes: Effective eHealth strategies

J Diabetes Complications. 2016 Apr;30(3):554-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.12.003. Epub 2015 Dec 8.


Latinos are at increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Well-designed information technology (IT) interventions have been shown to be generally efficacious in improving diabetes self-management. However, there are very few published IT intervention studies focused on Latinos. With the documented close of the digital divide, Latinos stand to benefit from such advances. There are limited studies on how best to address the unique socio-cultural-linguistic characteristics that would optimize adoption, use and benefit among Latinos. Successful e-health programs involve frequent communication, bidirectionality including feedback, and multimodal delivery of the intervention. The use of community health workers (CHWs) has been shown consistently to improve T2D outcomes in Latinos. Incorporating CHWs into eHealth interventions is likely to address barriers with technology literacy and improve patient activation, satisfaction and adherence. Additionally, tailored interventions are more successful in improving patient activation. It is important to note that tailoring is more than linguistic translation; tailoring interventions to the Latino population will need to address educational, language, literacy and acculturation levels, along with unique illness beliefs and attitudes about T2D found among Latinos. Interventions will need to go beyond the lone participant and include shared decision making models that incorporate family members and friends.

Keywords: Diabetes; Disparities; Interventions; Latino; eHealth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Self Care / methods
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome