Online Program

A review of the state of current literature on telehealth strategies for people with diabetes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

M. Hurewitz, School of Public Health, Nutrition, CUNY Hunter College School of Public Health, New York, NY
Sonia K González, MPH, DrPH Candidate, CUNY School of Public Health and Interactive Technology Pedagogy, CUNY School of Public Health, New York, NY
background:    For the nearly 30 million people in the United States living with diabetes, telehealth, including mobile health, presents an opportunity to support them in managing a complex condition and improving quality of life. However, questions arise regarding telehealth’s value and influence in creating sustainable and clinically relevant behavioral change for people with diabetes.

objective:  This review aims to analyze research studies focused on health outcomes used in telehealth interventions targeting people with diabetes, and to assess how they align with “self -care” behaviors outlined by clinicians.

methods: I conducted a systematic literature review of studies using telehealth technology to communicate with people living with diabetes which were published in peer review journals between 2008 and 2014. The review analyzes the outcomes of interventions across a variety of telehealth platforms; demographic groups, including underserved populations; and types of interventions. The studies’ health outcomes were compared to the Self-Care Behaviors outlined by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.


conclusion:  My research found that current explorations of telehealth’s influence on a short list of quantitative measures offers little fruitful guidance about the technology’s role in a long-term, diabetes care plan. Moving forward, research needs to explore the qualitative, behavioral factors that can help individuals engage in evidence-based self-care in response to the messages they receive through telehealth.

significance: Telehealth interventions and/or mobile health (mHealth) applications for people with diabetes are proliferating quickly.  For instance, diabetes applications for smartphones sold on iTunes increased by over 400% between 2009 and 2011.  These interventions hold great promise. But before the technology advances further, researchers need to apply rigorous evidence-based measures to ensure how these tools are clinically relevant and useful.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Name the health outcomes most typically assessed in telehealth or mobile health interventions for people with diabetes. Assess mobile health interventions for people with diabetes using the American Association of Diabetes Educators evidence-based Self-Care Behaviors framework. Evaluate the clinical relevance of peer-reviewed studies about telehealth interventions for people with diabetes.

Keyword(s): Diabetes, Telehealth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered