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Effectiveness of IT-based diabetes management interventions: a review of the literature

Costa, Beth M., Fitzgerald, Kristine J., Jones, Kay M. and Dunning, Trisha 2009, Effectiveness of IT-based diabetes management interventions: a review of the literature, BMC family practice, vol. 10, no. 72, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-10-72.

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Title Effectiveness of IT-based diabetes management interventions: a review of the literature
Author(s) Costa, Beth M.
Fitzgerald, Kristine J.
Jones, Kay M.
Dunning, TrishaORCID iD for Dunning, Trisha orcid.org/0000-0002-0284-1706
Journal name BMC family practice
Volume number 10
Issue number 72
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009-11
ISSN 1471-2296
Summary Background : Information technology (IT) is increasingly being used in general practice to manage health care including type 2 diabetes. However, there is conflicting evidence about whether IT improves diabetes outcomes. This review of the literature about IT-based diabetes management interventions explores whether methodological issues such as sample characteristics, outcome measures, and mechanisms causing change in the outcome measures could explain some of the inconsistent findings evident in IT-based diabetes management studies.

Methods : Databases were searched using terms related to IT and diabetes management. Articles eligible for review evaluated an IT-based diabetes management intervention in general practice and were published between 1999 and 2009 inclusive in English. Studies that did not include outcome measures were excluded.

Results :
Four hundred and twenty-five articles were identified, sixteen met the inclusion criteria: eleven GP focussed and five patient focused interventions were evaluated. Nine were RCTs, five non-randomised control trials, and two single-sample before and after designs. Important sample characteristics such as diabetes type, familiarity with IT, and baseline diabetes knowledge were not addressed in any of the studies reviewed. All studies used HbA1c as a primary outcome measure, and nine reported a significant improvement in mean HbA1c over the study period; only two studies reported the HbA1c assay method. Five studies measured diabetes medications and two measured psychological outcomes. Patient lifestyle variables were not included in any of the studies reviewed. IT was the intervention method considered to effect changes in the outcome measures. Only two studies mentioned alternative possible causal mechanisms.

Conclusion :
Several limitations could affect the outcomes of IT-based diabetes management interventions to an unknown degree. These limitations make it difficult to attribute changes solely to such interventions.
Notes This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2296-10-72
Field of Research 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Costa et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30021277

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
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Created: Wed, 09 Dec 2009, 14:10:38 EST by Sally Morrigan

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.