Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires knowledge, skill, and motivation to engage in self-management behaviors to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life, and to prevent complications.
Self-management is an integral component of effective diabetes care. Researchers have identified the need for ongoing support to maintain behavior changes and long-term self-management. Online communities create an opportunity to support people with diabetes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Comparing effective methods of education, support, and self-management in the context of cultural differences are essential. Diabetes disproportionally affects the Hispanic population, and research shows these individuals are high users of smartphone technology to access the Internet.
The Diabetes Hands Foundation is an established diabetes online community with both an English-language site, TuDiabetes.com, and a Spanish-language site, EsTuDiabetes.com. The purpose of this project is to build a partnership with the Diabetes Hands Foundation and to engage the members of the TuDiabetes.com and EsTuDiabetes.com online communities to create an atmosphere that fosters the development of a patient-centered comparative effectiveness research project. Diabetes Hands Foundation leaders and members, diabetes advocates, and the project researchers will partner to identify culturally sensitive, patient-important practices that improve self-management and quality of life for people with diabetes. We will meet these goals by first establishing a diverse advisory board made up of people with diabetes, family members, caregivers, community members, and leaders in the field of diabetes. We will then hold a series of focus groups designed to foster relationships and to explore and define potential research priorities.
^ Perry Gee, PhD, RN, at Idaho State University was the original project lead for this project.