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Islam, Mohammed Shariful; Lechner, Andreas; Ferrari, Uta; Froeschl, Guenter; Alam, Dewan Shamsul; Holle, Rolf; Seissler, Jochen; Niessen, Louis W.: Mobile phone intervention for increasing adherence to treatment for type 2 diabetes in an urban area of Bangladesh: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. In: BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:586





Background: Mobile phone technologies including SMS (short message service) have been used to improve the delivery of health services in many countries. However, data on the effects of mobile health technology on patient outcomes in resource-limited settings are limited. The aim of this study therefore is to measure the impact of a mobile phone SMS service on treatment success of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes in an urban area of Bangladesh. Methods/design: This is a single-centred randomized controlled intervention trial (prospective) comparing standard-of-care with standard-of-care plus a mobile phone-based SMS intervention for 6 months. A total of 216 participants with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes will be recruited. Data will be collected at the outpatient department of Bangladesh Institute of Health Science (BIHS) hospital at baseline and after 6 months. The primary outcome measure will be change in HbA1c between baseline and 6 months. The secondary outcome measures are self-reported medication adherence, clinic attendance, self-reported adoption of healthy behaviours, diabetes knowledge, quality of life and cost effectiveness of the SMS intervention. The inclusion criteria will be as follows: diagnosed as patients with type 2 diabetes by the BIHS physician, using oral medication therapy, living in Dhaka city, registered with the BIHS hospital, using a mobile phone, willing to return for follow up after 6 months and providing written informed consent. Participants will be allocated to control and intervention arms after recruitment using a randomization software. Data will be collected on socio-demographic and economic information, mobile phone use and habits, knowledge of prevention, management and complications of diabetes, self-perceived quality of life assessment, self-reported diseases, medical history, family history of diseases, medication history, medication adherence, health seeking behaviour, tobacco use, physical activity, diet, mental health status, life events and disability, anthropometric measurements of weight, height, blood pressure and blood tests for HbA1c. Discussion: Mobile phone SMS services have the potential to communicate with diabetes patients and to build awareness about the disease, improve self-management and avoid complications also in resource-limited setting. If this intervention proves to be efficient and cost-effective in the current trial, large-scale implementation could be undertaken.