Experiences of Using Web-Based and Mobile Technologies to Support Self-Management of Type 2 Diabetes: Qualitative Study.
Kelly L., Jenkinson C., Morley D.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rising, placing increasing strain on health care services. Web-based and mobile technologies can be an important source of information and support for people with type 2 diabetes and may prove beneficial with respect to reducing complications due to mismanagement. To date, little research has been performed to gain an insight into people's perspectives of using such technologies in their daily management. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of using Web-based and mobile technologies to support the management of type 2 diabetes. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 people with type 2 diabetes to explore experiences of using Web-based and mobile technologies to manage their diabetes. Transcripts were analyzed using the framework method. RESULTS: Technology supported the users to maintain individualized and tailored goals when managing their health. A total of 7 themes were identified as important to participants when using technology to support self-management: (1) information, (2) understanding individual health and personal data, (3) reaching and sustaining goals, (4) minimizing disruption to daily life, (5) reassurance, (6) communicating with health care professionals, and (7) coordinated care. CONCLUSIONS: Patients need to be supported to manage their condition to improve well-being and prevent diabetes-related complications from arising. Technologies enabled the users to get an in-depth sense of how their body reacted to both lifestyle and medication factors-something that was much more difficult with the use of traditional standardized information alone. It is intended that the results of this study will inform a new questionnaire designed to assess self-management in people using Web-based and mobile technology to manage their health.