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A feasibility study of mobile phone text messaging to support education and management of type 2 diabetes in Iraq

Haddad, Nazar S., Istepanian, Robert, Philip, Nada, Khazaal, Faris A. K., Hamdan, Thamer A., Pickles, Timothy E., Amso, Nazar Najib and Gregory, John Welbourn 2014. A feasibility study of mobile phone text messaging to support education and management of type 2 diabetes in Iraq. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics 16 (7) , pp. 454-459. 10.1089/dia.2013.0272

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Background: We undertook a feasibility study to evaluate feasibility and utility of short message services (SMSs) to support Iraqi adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Subjects and Methods: Fifty patients from a teaching hospital clinic in Basrah in the first year after diagnosis were recruited to receive weekly SMSs relating to diabetes self-management over 29 weeks. Numbers of messages received, acceptability, cost, effect on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and diabetes knowledge were documented. Results: Forty-two patients completed the study, receiving an average 22 of 28 messages. Mean knowledge score rose from 8.6 (SD 1.5) at baseline to 9.9 (SD 1.4) 6 months after receipt of SMSs (P=0.002). Baseline and 6-month knowledge scores correlated (r=0.297, P=0.049). Mean baseline HbA1c was 79 mmol/mol (SD 14 mmol/mol) (9.3% [SD 1.3%]) and decreased to 70 mmol/mol (SD 13 mmol/mol) (8.6% [SD 1.2%]) (P=0.001) 6 months after the SMS intervention. Baseline and 6-month values were correlated (r=0.898, P=0.001). Age, gender, and educational level showed no association with changes in HbA1c or knowledge score. Changes in knowledge score were correlated with postintervention HbA1c (r=–0.341, P=0.027). All patients were satisfied with text messages and wished the service to be continued after the study. The cost of SMSs was €0.065 per message. Conclusions: This study demonstrates SMSs are acceptable, cost-effective, and feasible in supporting diabetes care in the challenging, resource-poor environment of modern-day Iraq. This study is the first in Iraq to demonstrate similar benefits of this technology on diabetes education and management to those seen from its use in better-resourced parts of the world. A randomized controlled trial is needed to assess precise benefits on self-care and knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN: 1520-9156
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 December 2017
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 15:35

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