Journal of telemedicine and telecare
BACKGROUND: A growing number of studies and reviews have documented the impact of telemedicine on diabetes management. However, no meta-analysis has assessed whether including nutritional counseling as part of a telemedicine program has a significant impact on diabetes outcomes or what kind of nutritional counseling is most effective.
METHODS: Original research articles examining the effect of telemedicine interventions on HbA1c levels in patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes were included in this study. A literature search was performed and 92 studies were retained for analysis. We examined stratified results by differentiating interventions using no nutritional counseling from those that used nutritional counseling. We further compared between nutritional counseling administered via short message systems (SMS) such as email and text messages, and nutritional counseling administered via telephone or videoconference.
RESULTS: Telemedicine programs that include a nutritional component show similar effect in diabetes management as those programs that do not. Furthermore, subgroup analysis reveals that nutritional intervention via SMS such as email and text messages is at least as equally effective in reducing HbA1c when compared to personal nutritional counseling with a practitioner over videoconference or telephone.
CONCLUSION: The inclusion of nutritional counseling as part of a telemedicine program does not make a significant difference to diabetes outcomes. Incorporating nutritional counseling into telemedicine programs via SMS is at least as effective as counseling via telephone or videoconference.
Epistemonikos ID: 01f7d9609571e2fb13e02d188984e28464cf8916