JMIR research protocols 2017 03 236(3) e47 doi 10.2196/resprot.6910
Little attention has been paid to self-management support of patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Most studies evaluated the addition of self-management support to regular diabetes care, but self-management as an alternative for part of regular diabetes care has hardly been studied. In this study, we offered patients with well-controlled T2DM the opportunity to perform the 3 quarterly monitoring sessions at home using an Internet-based self-management program, resulting in online personalized advice.
The aim of our study was to assess the reach and feasibility of an Internet-based diabetes self-management support program for patients with well-controlled T2DM, addressing both primary care providers’ (PCPs) opinions and patients’ willingness to participate in such a support program.
PCPs assessed patients’ eligibility for Internet-based self-management, and patients were offered the opportunity to participate. Characteristics of eligible and ineligible patients were compared, as well as those of participants and nonparticipants, also with regard to quality of life, treatment satisfaction, and illness perceptions. Multivariate logistic regression models were performed and odds ratios (ORs) calculated with 95% CIs.
Almost half (128/282, 45.4%) of the patients with well-controlled T2DM were considered ineligible by their PCPs mainly because of cognitive impairment and language barriers (8.2% and 8.9%). Older patients (OR for each year 1.06, 95% CI 1.03-1.09, P<.001), non-Western European patients (OR 3.64, 95% CI 1.67-7.92, P=.001), and patients with a longer diabetes duration (OR for each year 1.56, 95% CI 1.04-2.34, P=.03) were more often regarded as ineligible. Of the 154 patients considered eligible, 57 (37.0%) consented to participate and 30 (10.6%) started the program. Of 57 participants, 45 returned the 3 questionnaires; 21 of 97 nonparticipants returned the questionnaires. Nonparticipants less often thought that their disease would last their entire life (median 8.0 vs 10.0, P=.03) and they were more satisfied with their current treatment than participants (DTSQ total score 44.0 vs 40.0, P=.05). There was no significant difference in quality of life between the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS
PCPs considered half of their patients with well-controlled T2DM incapable of Internet-based self-management mainly because of cognitive impairment and language barriers; of the selected patients, about 1 out of 3 was willing to participate. Older patients, non-Western European patients, and patients with a higher BMI were less likely to participate. Predominantly, practical issues (such as Internet problems) hindered implementation of the Internet-based self-management program.