Does telemedicine improve treatment outcomes for diabetes? A meta-analysis of results from 55 randomized controlled trials.

Category Systematic review
Journal Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice
Year 2016

AIMS: To assess the overall effect of telemedicine on diabetes management and to identify features of telemedicine interventions that are associated with better diabetes management outcomes.METHODS: Hedges's g was estimated as the summary measure of mean difference in HbA1c between patients with diabetes who went through telemedicine care and those who went through conventional, non-telemedicine care using a random-effects model. Q statistics were calculated to assess if the effect of telemedicine on diabetes management differs by types of diabetes, age groups of patients, duration of intervention, and primary telemedicine approaches used.RESULTS: The analysis included 55 randomized controlled trials with a total of 9258 patients with diabetes, out of which 4607 were randomized to telemedicine groups and 4651 to conventional, non-telemedicine care groups. The results favored telemedicine over conventional care (Hedges's g=-0.48, p<0.001) in diabetes management. The beneficial effect of telemedicine were more pronounced among patients with type 2 diabetes (Hedges's g=-0.63, p<0.001) than among those with type 1 diabetes (Hedges's g=-0.27, p=0.027) (Q=4.25, p=0.04).CONCLUSIONS: Compared to conventional care, telemedicine is more effective in improving treatment outcomes for diabetes patients, especially for those with type 2 diabetes.

Epistemonikos ID: 41af9daf78481755361cf9446e19dece828ba2b4