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Health information, behavior change, and decision support for patients with type 2 diabetes: development of a tailored, preference-sensitive health communication application

Authors Weymann N, Härter M, Petrak F, Dirmaier J

Received 18 April 2013

Accepted for publication 16 May 2013

Published 22 October 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 1091—1099


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Nina Weymann,1 Martin Härter,1 Frank Petrak,2 Jörg Dirmaier1

1Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, 2Clinic of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, LWL University Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany

Purpose: Patient involvement in diabetes treatment such as shared decision-making and patient self-management has significant effects on clinical parameters. As a prerequisite for active involvement, patients need to be informed in an adequate and preference-sensitive way. Interactive Health Communication Applications (IHCAs) that combine web-based health information for patients with additional support offer the opportunity to reach great numbers of patients at low cost and provide them with high-quality information and support at the time, place, and learning speed they prefer. Still, web-based interventions often suffer from high attrition. Tailoring the intervention to patients’ needs and preferences might reduce attrition and should thereby increase effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to develop a tailored IHCA offering evidence-based, preference-sensitive content and treatment decision support to patients with type 2 diabetes. The content was developed based on a needs assessment and two evidence-based treatment guidelines. The delivery format is a dialogue-based, tunneled design tailoring the content and tone of the dialogue to relevant patient characteristics (health literacy, attitudes toward self-care, and psychological barriers to insulin treatment). Both content and tailoring were revised by an interdisciplinary advisory committee.
Conclusion: The World Wide Web holds great potential for patient information and self-management interventions. With the development and evaluation of a tailored IHCA, we complement face-to-face consultations of patients with their health care practitioners and make them more efficient and satisfying for both sides. Effects of the application are currently being tested within a randomized controlled trial.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes, interactive health communication application, development, Internet

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