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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014 Nov;106(2):200-11. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Jun 21.

Online social networking services in the management of patients with diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Author information

1
The Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, 10th Floor, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Building, St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London W2 1NY, UK.
2
The Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, 10th Floor, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Building, St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London W2 1NY, UK. Electronic address: h.ashrafian@imperial.ac.uk.

Abstract

AIMS:

Social networking services (SNS) can facilitate real-time communication and feedback of blood glucose and other physiological data between patients and healthcare professionals. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to summarise the current evidence surrounding the role of online social networking services in diabetes care.

METHODS:

We performed a systematic literature review of the Medline, EMBASE and PsychINFO databases of all studies reporting HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) as a measure of glycaemic control for social networking services in diabetes care. HbA1c, clinical outcomes and the type of technology used were extracted. Study quality and publication bias were assessed.

RESULTS:

SNS interventions beneficially reduced HbA1c when compared to controls, which was confirmed by sensitivity analysis. SNS interventions also significantly improved systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol. Subgroup analysis according to diabetes type demonstrated that Type 2 diabetes patients had a significantly greater reduction in HbA1c than those with Type 1 diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Online SNS provide a novel, feasible approach to improving glycaemic control, particularly in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Further mechanistic and cost-effectiveness studies are required to improve our understanding of SNS and its efficacy in diabetes care.

KEYWORDS:

Diabetes; HbA1c; Social networking services; Telemedicine

PMID:
25043399
DOI:
10.1016/j.diabres.2014.06.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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