Systematic review and evaluation of web-accessible tools for management of diabetes and related cardiovascular risk factors by patients and healthcare providers
- Catherine H Yu1,2,
- Robinder Bahniwal1,
- Andreas Laupacis1,2,
- Eman Leung1,
- Michael S Orr3,
- Sharon E Straus1,2
- 1Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 2Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
- 3St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
- Correspondence to Dr Catherine H Yu Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond St, Toronto, ON M5B 1W8, Canada;
Contributors CHY conceived the study, participated in its design, and drafted the manuscript. RB participated in the coordination, performed data abstraction, and drafted portions of the manuscript. EL and MSO performed data abstraction and drafted portions of the manuscript. SES and AL participated in its design and revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. All authors had access to the data and read and approved the final manuscript.
- Received 9 April 2011
- Accepted 27 November 2011
- Published Online First 3 January 2012
Objective To identify and evaluate the effectiveness, clinical usefulness, sustainability, and usability of web-compatible diabetes-related tools.
Data sources Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, world wide web.
Study selection Studies were included if they described an electronic audiovisual tool used as a means to educate patients, care givers, or clinicians about diabetes management and assessed a psychological, behavioral, or clinical outcome.
Data extraction Study abstraction and evaluation for clinical usefulness, sustainability, and usability were performed by two independent reviewers.
Results Of 12616 citations and 1541 full-text articles reviewed, 57 studies met inclusion criteria. Forty studies used experimental designs (25 randomized controlled trials, one controlled clinical trial, 14 before–after studies), and 17 used observational designs. Methodological quality and ratings for clinical usefulness and sustainability were variable, and there was a high prevalence of usability errors. Tools showed moderate but inconsistent effects on a variety of psychological and clinical outcomes including HbA1c and weight. Meta-regression of adequately reported studies (12 studies, 2731 participants) demonstrated that, although the interventions studied resulted in positive outcomes, this was not moderated by clinical usefulness nor usability.
Limitation This review is limited by the number of accessible tools, exclusion of tools for mobile devices, study quality, and the use of non-validated scales.
Conclusion Few tools were identified that met our criteria for effectiveness, usefulness, sustainability, and usability. Priority areas include identifying strategies to minimize website attrition and enabling patients and clinicians to make informed decisions about website choice by encouraging reporting of website quality indicators.
- Diabetes mellitus
- medical informatics
- medical education
- patient education
- knowledge translation
- quality improvement
- process redesign
Funding This research was supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, who had no role in study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the article for publication. SES is supported by a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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