How can we increase self-tracking of patients with Type 2 Diabetes?

Summary

 Background

To manage their disease efficiently, it is important for patients with Diabetes to regularly measure their blood glucose. However, many patients do not measure their blood glucose regularly, for example because it causes pain, or because it reminds them of being ill.

Aim

The aim of this study was to examine the reasons why patients with Diabetes don’t measure their blood glucose regularly, and how this can be improved by means of technology.

Method

Therefore, 6 patients with Diabetes were interviewed to examine their experiences with self-measuring of blood glucose. In addition, an innovative intervention was developed based on the Theory of Planned Behavior; which consisted of an idea for an application to improve the motivation of patients with Diabetes to measure blood glucose regularly. The main aim of this application is to change the feeling of discomfort during measuring blood glucose into a positive feeling. This will change the attitude towards self-management, which will change the amount of times a person will measure blood glucose. The application allows patients to keep track of their blood glucose at any time. The data can also be send to their doctor if necessary. When a patients measures his/her blood glucose, the results will automatically be send to the application on his/her phone. To improve the usage of the app, it also has a rewarding system. Three different ways of rewarding are mentioned. The more you measure, the more games you can play, the more points you earn to get discount at specific shops (eg, sponsors of the application), or the more compliments you will get. All three can be effective to different persons. For example, someone will appreciate getting compliments rather than playing games.

Results/conclusion

Important to note is that the application has not been made yet. Future research should examine the effect of this application.