• diabetes;
  • mobile phone technology;
  • pilot trial;
  • self-management


Rationale, aims and objectives  Utilizing information technology, such as Internet and cellphones, holds great promise in enhancing diabetic care. Yet few studies have examined the impact of cellphone technology on type 2 diabetics’ self-care. The primary aim of the study is to examine the feasibility of utilizing this technology to assist with diabetes self-care in a clinic population as well as its impact on clinical outcomes.

Methods  Thirty patients with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at two Community Health Centers were randomized to intervention or control. Intervention patients participated in a brief intervention and received tailored daily messages via cellphone prompting them to enhance their diabetic self-care behaviour. Patients at the control site continued with their standard diabetes self-management.

Results  A mean improvement in HbA1c levels was apparent (−0.1, SD = 0.3%; P = 0.1534) in the intervention group, compared with a mean deterioration in the control (0.3, SD = 1.0%; P = 0.3813), yet without statistical significance. Self-efficacy scores improved significantly in the intervention group (−0.5, SD = 0.6; P = 0.0080) compared with no improvement in the control (0.0, SD = 1.0; P = 0.9060). Participants encountered numerous technological barriers when attempting to adhere to the intervention protocol.

Conclusion  The results indicate the intervention had a positive impact on some clinical outcome and self-efficacy. Although the technology appears feasible in a clinical setting technology must be made more user-friendly before a larger phase II trial is conducted.