Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Diabetes. Mar 15, 2015; 6(2): 225-233
Published online Mar 15, 2015. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i2.225
Technology and diabetes self-management: An integrative review
Caralise W Hunt
Caralise W Hunt, School of Nursing, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, United States
Author contributions: Hunt CW conducted the literature search, reviewed the data, and wrote the paper.
Conflict-of-interest: The author has no conflict-of-interest to declare.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Caralise W Hunt, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Auburn University, 219 Miller Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, United States.
Telephone: +1-334-8446763 Fax: +1-334-8445654
Received: August 29, 2014
Peer-review started: August 30, 2014
First decision: November 19, 2014
Revised: November 26, 2014
Accepted: December 16, 2014
Article in press: December 17, 2014
Published online: March 15, 2015

Technology can be used to supplement healthcare provider diabetes care by providing both educational and motivational support. Education can be provided using technology allowing patients to learn new practices and routines related to diabetes management. Technology can support daily diabetes self-management activities including blood glucose monitoring, exercising, healthy eating, taking medication, monitoring for complications, and problem-solving. This article describes an integrative review conducted to evaluate the types of technology being used to facilitate diabetes self-management and the effect of that technology on self-management and diabetes outcomes for adults living with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A literature review was conducted by searching Medline, PubMed, and Psych INFO databases using the search terms: diabetes self-management, technology, type 2 diabetes, smartphones, cell phones, and diabetes mellitus covering the years from 2008-2013. Articles relying on secondary data (editorials, systematic reviews) and articles describing study protocol only were excluded. Fourteen studies including qualitative, quasi-experimental, and randomized controlled trial designs were identified and included in the review. The review found that technological interventions had positive impacts on diabetes outcomes including improvements in hemoglobin A1C levels, diabetes self-management behaviors, and diabetes self-efficacy. Results indicate that technological interventions can benefit people living with diabetes when used in conjunction with diabetes care delivered by healthcare providers.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes self-management, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Technology, Integrative review

Core tip: Technology may be used to support diabetes self-management. Both mobile phone and internet-based technological interventions have been found to support self-management behaviors of people living with diabetes. Technology can extend the reach of diabetes self-management to patient’s communities and homes, provide for individualized care, and provide just-in-time information.