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Diabetes Educ. 2013 May-Jun;39(3):365-75. doi: 10.1177/0145721713484594. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

Feasibility of an internet-based intervention for improving diabetes outcomes among low-income patients with a high risk for poor diabetes outcomes followed in a community clinic.

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Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA (Dr Ryan, Dr Schwartz, Mr Fedders, Ms Vittoria)
Private Practice, Healing Hooves Psychotherapy, Davie, FL, USA (Dr Jennings)



The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of an Internet-based intervention, targeting very low-income minority patients with a high risk for not engaging in diabetes self-management, to increase diabetes self-management and improve diabetes outcomes.


Patients with diabetes followed in a community clinic were enrolled in the 13-month trial. Participants were requested to test blood sugar and upload glucometer data every day and login to the program at least once every second day. Feasibility data included process measures; diabetes outcomes consisted of changes from baseline to follow-up for levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C), LDL, HDL, triglyceride and total cholesterol, and health-related quality of life using the SF-36.


Only 22% of participants had health insurance. Participants had an average of 4.39 comorbidities and 7.06 prescriptions. Participants uploaded glucometer data at least twice each week and logged into the application at least once each week. Participants demonstrated reductions statistically or clinically important changes in A1C, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Participants engaging in more frequent chat messages and interactive activities demonstrated greater reductions in LDL cholesterol levels; however, engaging in more frequent chat messages also was associated with increased triglyceride levels. Participants rated fewer role limitations from physical health problems at follow-up.


The intervention produced good outcomes; however, an alternative platform may be a less expensive approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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