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Improvements in illness self-management and psychological distress associated with telemonitoring support for adults with diabetes.

Aikens JE, Rosland AM, Piette JD. Improvements in illness self-management and psychological distress associated with telemonitoring support for adults with diabetes. Primary Care Diabetes. 2015 Apr 1; 9(2):127-34.

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this observational open label trial was to characterize changes in diabetes self-management and psychological distress associated with a mobile health (mHealth) interactive voice response (IVR) self-management support program. METHODS: For 3-6 months, 301 patients with diabetes received weekly IVR calls assessing health status and self-care and providing tailored pre-recorded self-management support messages. Patients could participate together with an informal caregiver who received suggestions on self-management support, and patients' clinicians were notified automatically when patients reported significant problems. RESULTS: Patients completed 84% of weekly calls, providing 5682 patient-weeks of data. Thirty-nine percent participated with an informal caregiver. Outcome analyses adjusted for study design factors and sociodemographics indicated significant pre-post improvement in medication adherence, physical functioning, depressive symptoms, and diabetes-related distress (all p values < 0.001). Analyses of self-management problems indicated that as the intervention proceeded, there were significant improvements in patients' IVR-reported frequency of weekly medication adherence, SMBG performance, checking feet, and frequency of abnormal self-monitored blood glucose readings (all p values < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the combined program of automated telemonitoring, clinician notification, and informal caregiver involvement was associated with consistent improvements in medication adherence, diabetes self-management behaviors, physical functioning, and psychological distress. A randomized controlled trial is needed to verify these encouraging findings.

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