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Support for Diabetes Using Technology by Hunt et al.

The purpose of the research

The main purpose of this research “was to determine if the use of applications on Apple iPad technology that support diabetes self-management will increase self-efficacy for self-management behaviors and improve diabetes outcomes in persons with T2DM in an employer-sponsored diabetes self-management program” (Hunt, Sanderson, & Ellison, 2014, pp. 232-233).

The research question

The implied research question is, “how can technological applications be used to increase self-efficacy for diabetes self-management, enhance participation in diabetes self-management behaviors, and improve diabetes control?”

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The research design of the study

A quantitative research approach using a crossover, repeated-measures research design was used to collect important data during pre-intervention, mid-intervention, and post-intervention. This research design is effective in such a study as it enables researchers to evaluate the effects of a particular intervention over time.

The population (sample) for this study

The study used a sample of 17 participants, who were recruited after meeting the inclusion criteria of living with type 2 diabetes, being able to read and write English, and being 19 years or older.

The sample for the research design

The sample was not adequate based on the fact that most quantitative research designs require a large representative sample to ensure that the study findings can be generalized to the larger population.

The data collection procedure

Data were collected in three levels (pre-intervention, mid-intervention, and post-intervention) using the Diabetes Management Self-Efficacy Scale (DMSES), Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities-Revised (SDSCA) questionnaire, and Diabetes Buddy iPad application. The application allowed participants in the intervention group to log their self-management behaviors on a daily basis and email a report of activities on a weekly basis to the primary researcher; however, those in the control group were requested to log the same types of behaviors using a paper journal (Hunt et al., 2014).

The data analysis

Descriptive statistics were used to analyze demographic data and several values of diabetes control improvement, while mixed model analysis of variance and repeated measures analysis were used to analyze values of self-efficacy, diabetes self-management behaviors, and changes in self-management behaviors over time.

The limitations found in the study

The limitations of the study include

  1. use of a small sample that had good glycemic control and high self-efficacy scores at baseline, thus limiting the effectiveness of the intervention,
  2. use of self-report measures,
  3. time constraints, and
  4. tedious nature of the iPad application.

The authors’ conclusions

The authors concluded that, although technology applications can be used in the self-management of diabetes, people need to understand the multifaceted treatment plan as this will help them to modify and maintain daily behaviors. The data collected were fundamental in concluding that health care providers can use emergent technological applications to redesign approaches for use in educating and assisting people on effective self-management practices for type 2 diabetes.

Advancements to knowledge in the field

From the study, it is clear that nursing professionals can use technology to not only improve outcomes for diabetes patients but also to help them in following effective self-management practices such as proper dietary and exercise regimens.