Baseline Characteristics and Technology Training of Underserved Adults With Type 2 Diabetes in the Mobile Diabetes Detective (MoDD) Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe the characteristics and technology training needs of underserved adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who participated in a health information technology (HIT) diabetes self-management education (DSME) intervention.

Methods

The baseline physiological, psychosocial, and technology use characteristics for 220 adults with poorly controlled T2DM were evaluated. Intervention participants received a 1-time intervention training, which included basic technology help, introduction to the Mobile Diabetes Detective (MoDD) website and text message features, and account activation that included subject-specific tailoring. Four additional on-site sessions for participants needing computer or Internet access or technology support were made available based on need. Data regarding on-site visits for usual care were collected. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis.

Results

The participants were predominately Hispanic and female with a baseline mean A1C of 10% (86 mmol/mol). Only half of the participants regularly used computers or text messages in daily life. The average introductory MoDD training session lasted 73.6 minutes. Following training, approximately one-third (35%) of intervention participants returned for basic and MoDD-specific technology assistance at their federally qualified health center. The most frequently reported duration for the extra training sessions was 30 to 45 minutes.

Conclusions

Training and support needs were greater than anticipated. Diabetes educators should assess technology abilities prior to implementing health information technology (HIT) diabetes self-management education (DSME) in underserved adults. Future research must invest resources in technology access, anticipate subject training, and develop new training approaches to ensure HIT DSME use and engagement.

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