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Computer-Based Programs Show Benefits for Diabetes

Applications for mobile phones have the most impact on monitoring of blood glucose

Computer-Based Programs Show Benefits for Diabetes

FRIDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Computer-based diabetes self-management interventions have a small beneficial effect on blood glucose control, according to a review published online March 28 in The Cochrane Library.

Kingshuk Pal, M.B., B.Chir., from University College London, and colleagues reviewed the literature for published articles and conference proceedings involving randomized controlled trials of computer-based self-management interventions for adults with type 2 diabetes. Sixteen trials involving 3,578 participants were identified, representing a wide range of interventions, including clinic-based brief interventions, home Internet-based interventions, and mobile phone-based interventions, with interventions lasting from one to 12 months.

The researchers found that computer-based diabetes self-management currently has limited effectiveness, with small benefits in glycaemic control (pooled effect on glycosylated haemoglobin A1c [HbA1c]: −2.3 mmol/mol or −0.2 percent based on 2,637 participants; 11 trials). The effect on HbA1c was larger in the mobile phone subgroup of 280 participants in three trials. There was no evidence for improving depression, health-related quality of life, or weight in the current interventions, although four of 10 interventions showed beneficial effects on lipid profiles. Two studies provided some cost-effectiveness data, with one study showing no change in health behavior and resource utilization.

"Computer-based diabetes self-management interventions to manage type 2 diabetes appear to have a small beneficial effect on blood glucose control, and the effect was larger in the mobile phone subgroup," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the Camden Primary Care Trust, U.K.

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