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Open access

Rade Iljaž, Andrej Brodnik, Tatjana Zrimec and Iztok Cukjati

Abstract

Background

Telemonitoring and web-based interventions are increasingly used in primary-care practices in many countries for more effective management of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). A new approach in treating patients with diabetes mellitus in family practices, based on ICT use and nurse practitioners, has been introduced and evaluated in this study.

Method

Fifteen Slovene family practices enrolled 120 DM patients treated only with a diet regime and/or tablets into the study. 58 of them were included into the interventional group, and the other 62 DM patients into the control group, within one-year-long interventional, randomised controlled trial. Patients in the control group had conventional care for DM according to Slovenian professional guidelines, while the patients in the interventional group were using also the eDiabetes application. Patients were randomised through a balanced randomisation process.

Results

Significant reductions of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) values were found after 6 and 12 months among patients using this eDiabetes application (p<0.05). Among these patients, a significant correlation was also found between self-monitored blood pressure and the final HbA1c values. Diabetic patients’ involvement in web-based intervention had only transient impact on their functional health status.

Conclusion

This eDiabetes application was confirmed to be an innovative approach for better self-management of DM type 2 patients not using insulin. Both a significant reduction of HbA1c values and a significant correlation between the average self-measured blood pressure and the final HbA1c values in the interventional group were found. Nurse practitioners – as diabetes care coordinators – could contribute to better adherence in diabetes e-care.