The Effects of a Mobile Phone Application on Quality of Life in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Background:

The combination of an increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus and more people having access to smartphones creates opportunities for patient care. This study aims to investigate whether the use of the Diabetes Under Control (DBEES) mobile phone application, a digital diabetes diary, results in a change in quality of life for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) compared with the standard paper diary.

Methods:

In this randomized controlled open-label trial, 63 patients with T1DM having access to a smartphone were assigned to the intervention group using the DBEES application (n = 31) or the control group using the standard paper diary (n = 32). Primary outcome was the change in quality of life, as measured by the RAND-36 questionnaire, between both groups. Secondary outcomes included diabetes-related distress (PAID), HbA1c, frequency of self-monitoring blood glucose, and the usability of the diabetes application (SUS).

Results:

Patients had a median age (IQR) of 33 (21) years, diabetes duration of 17 (16) years, and an HbA1c of 62 ± 16 mmol/mol. No significant differences in the QOL, using the RAND-36, within and between both groups were observed after 3 months. Glycemic control, diabetes-related emotional distress, and frequency of self-monitoring of blood glucose remained within and between groups. Users reviewed the usability of DBEES with a 72 ± 20, on a range of 0-100.

Conclusions:

The use of the DBEES application in the management of patients with T1DM for 3 months yields no alterations in quality of life compared to the standard paper diary.

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