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Improving adherence and outcomes in diabetic patients

Authors Joshi R, Joshi D, Cheriyath P

Received 16 September 2016

Accepted for publication 27 December 2016

Published 15 February 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 271—275


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Renu Joshi, Disha Joshi, Pramil Cheriyath

Department of Endocrinology, Pinnacle Health Hospitals, Harrisburg, PA, USA

Objective: Nonadherence in diabetes is a problem leading to wasted resources and preventable deaths each year. Remedies for diminishing nonadherence are many but marginally effective, and outcomes remain suboptimal.
Aim: The aim of this study was to test a new iOS “app”, PatientPartner. Derived from complexity theory, this novel technology has been extensively used in other fields; this is the first trial in a patient population.
Methods: Physicians referred patients who were “severely non-adherent” with HbA1c levels >8. After consent and random assignment (n=107), subjects in the intervention group were immersed in the 12-min PatientPartner game, which assesses and trains subjects on parameters of thinking that are critical for good decision making in health care: information management, stress coping, and health strategies. The control group did not play PatientPartner. All subjects were called each week for 3 weeks and self-reported on their medication adherence, diet, and exercise. Baseline and 3-month post-intervention HbA1c levels were recorded for the intervention group.
Results: Although the control group showed no difference on any measures at 3 weeks, the intervention group reported significant mean percentage improvements on all measures: medication adherence (57%, standard deviation [SD] 18%–96%, SD 9), diet (50%, SD 33%–75%, SD 28), and exercise (29%, SD 31%–43%, SD 33). At 3 months, the mean HbA1c levels in the intervention group were significantly lower (9.6) than baseline (10.7).
Conclusion: Many programs to improve adherence have been proved to be expensive and marginally effective. Therefore, improvements from the single use of a 12-min-long “app” are noteworthy. This is the first ever randomized, controlled trial to demonstrate that an “app” can impact the gold standard biological marker, HbA1c, in diabetes.

diabetes, adherence, iOS app PatientPartner, HbA1c improvement

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