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Journal Description

JMIR Diabetes (JD) is a new sister journal of JMIR (the leading open-access journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671), focusing on technologies, medical devices, apps, engineering, informatics and patient education for diabetes prevention, self-management, care, and cure, to help people with diabetes. As open access journal we are read by clinicians and patients alike and have (as all JMIR journals) a focus on readable and applied science reporting the design and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies, as well as on diabetes epidemiology. We publish original research, viewpoints, and reviews (both literature reviews and medical device/technology/app reviews) covering for example wearable devices and trackers, mobile apps, glucose monitoring (including emerging technologies such as Google contact lens), medical devices for insulin and metabolic peptide delivery, closed loop systems and artificial pancreas, telemedicine, web-based diabetes education and elearning, innovations for patient self-management and "quantified self", diabetes-specific EHR improvements, clinical or consumer-focused software, diabetes epidemiology and surveillance, crowdsourcing and quantified self-based research data, new sensors and actuators to be applied to diabetes.


Recent Articles:

  • Source: (Robert Shields); Copyright: US Army; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Patient Portal Use in Diabetes Management: Literature Review


    Background: Health information technology tools (eg, patient portals) have the potential to promote engagement, improve patient-provider communication, and enhance clinical outcomes in the management of chronic disorders such as diabetes mellitus (DM). Objectives: The aim of this study was to report the findings of a literature review of studies reporting patient portal use by individuals with type 1 or type 2 DM. We examined the association of the patient portal use with DM-related outcomes and identified opportunities for further improvement in DM management. Methods: Electronic literature search was conducted through PubMed and PsycINFO databases. The keywords used were “patient portal*,” “web portal,” “personal health record,” and “diabetes.” Inclusion criteria included (1) published in the past 10 years, (2) used English language, (3) restricted to age ≥18 years, and (4) available in full text. Results: This review included 6 randomized controlled trials, 16 observational, 4 qualitative, and 4 mixed-methods studies. The results of these studies revealed that 29% to 46% of patients with DM have registered for a portal account, with 27% to 76% of these patients actually using the portal at least once during the study period. Portal use was associated with the following factors: personal traits (eg, sociodemographics, clinical characteristics, health literacy), technology (eg, functionality, usability), and provider engagement. Inconsistent findings were observed regarding the association of patient portal use with DM-related clinical and psychological outcomes. Conclusions: Barriers to use of the patient portal were identified among patients and providers. Future investigations into strategies that engage both physicians and patients in use of a patient portal to improve patient outcomes are needed.

  • Young adults section of T1D Toolkit, the study website (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Transition Education for Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes: Pilot Feasibility Study for a Group Telehealth Intervention


    Background: Young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) experience a decline in glycemic outcomes and gaps in clinical care. A diabetes education and support program designed for young adults was delivered through group videoconference and mobile Web. Objective: The objective of our study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the program as measured by attendance and webpage views, satisfaction, and pre- and postintervention psychosocial outcomes, respectively. Methods: Young adults aged 18-25 years were recruited to attend five 30-minute group diabetes education videoconferences during an 8-week period. Videoconferences included an expert presentation followed by a moderated group discussion. Within 48 hours of each videoconference, participants were sent a link to more information on the study website. Feasibility was assessed using data on videoconference attendance and webpage views. Acceptability was assessed via a Satisfaction Survey completed at the conclusion of the study. Descriptive statistics were generated. Preliminary efficacy was assessed via a survey to measure changes in diabetes-specific self-efficacy and diabetes distress. Pre- and postintervention data were compared using paired samples t tests. Results: In this study, 20 young adults (mean age 19.2 [SD 1.1] years) attended an average of 5.1 (SD 1.0) videoconferences equivalent to 153 (SD 30.6) minutes of diabetes education per participant during an 8-week period. Average participant satisfaction scores were 62.2 (SD 2.6) out of a possible 65 points. A total of 102 links sent via text message (short message service) or email resulted in 504 webpage views. There was no statistically significant difference between pre- and postintervention diabetes-specific self-efficacy or diabetes-related distress. Conclusions: Delivery of diabetes education via group videoconference using mobile Web follow-up is feasible and acceptable to young adults with T1D. This model of care delivery has the potential to improve attendance, social support, and patient-reported satisfaction. Nevertheless, further research is required to establish the effect on long-term psychosocial and glycemic outcomes.

  • User trying the CareMessage diabetes text-messaging program. Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Improved Diabetes Care Management Through a Text-Message Intervention for Low-Income Patients: Mixed-Methods Pilot Study


    Background: Diabetes is a major contributor to global death and disability. Text-messaging interventions hold promise for improving diabetes outcomes through better knowledge and self-management. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the implementation and impact of a diabetes text-messaging program targeted primarily for low-income Latino patients receiving care at 2 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Methods: A mixed-methods, quasi-experimental research design was employed for this pilot study. A total of 50 Spanish or English-speaking adult patients with diabetes attending 2 FQHC sites in Los Angeles from September 2015 to February 2016 were enrolled in a 12-week, bidirectional text-messaging program. A comparison group (n=160) was constructed from unexposed, eligible patients. Demographic data and pre/post clinical indicators were compared for both the groups. Propensity score weighting was used to reduce selection bias, and over-time differences in clinical outcomes between groups were estimated using individual fixed-effects regression models. Population-averaged linear models were estimated to assess differential effects of patient engagement on each clinical indicator among the intervention participants. A sample of intervention patients (n=11) and all implementing staff (n=8) were interviewed about their experiences with the program. Qualitative data were transcribed, translated, and analyzed to identify common themes. Results: The intervention group had a mean glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reduction of 0.4 points at follow-up, relative to the comparison group (P=.06). Patients who were more highly engaged with the program (response rate ≥median of 64.5%) experienced a 2.2 point reduction in HbA1c, relative to patients who were less engaged, controlling for demographic characteristics (P<.001). Qualitative analyses revealed that many participants felt supported, as though “someone was worrying about [their] health.” Participants also cited learning new information, setting new goals, and receiving helpful reminders. Staff and patients highlighted strategies to improve the program, including incorporating patient responses into in-person clinical care and tailoring the messages to patient knowledge. Conclusions: A diabetes text-messaging program provided instrumental and emotional support for participants and may have contributed to clinically meaningful improvements in HbA1c. Patients who were more engaged demonstrated greater improvement. Program improvements, such as linkages to clinical care, hold potential for improving patient engagement and ultimately, improving clinical outcomes.

  • MyFootCare aims to engage patients with diabetic foot ulcers through goal setting, progress monitoring, and reminders in self-care. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-ND).

    Promoting Self-Care of Diabetic Foot Ulcers Through a Mobile Phone App: User-Centered Design and Evaluation


    Background: Without effective self-care, people with diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are at risk of prolonged healing times, hospitalization, amputation, and reduced quality of life. Despite these consequences, adherence to DFU self-care remains low. New strategies are needed to engage people in the self-care of their DFUs. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the usability and potential usefulness of a new mobile phone app to engage people with DFUs in self-care. Methods: We developed a new mobile phone app, MyFootCare, to engage people with DFUs through goals, progress monitoring, and reminders in self-care. Key features included novel visual analytics that automatically extract and monitor DFU size information from mobile phone photos of the foot. A functional prototype of MyFootCare was created and evaluated through a user-centered design process with 11 participants with DFUs. Data were collected through semistructured interviews discussing existing self-care practices and observations of MyFootCare with participants. Data were analyzed qualitatively through thematic analysis. Results: Key themes were as follows: (1) participants already used mobile phone photos to monitor their DFU progress; (2) participants had limited experience with using mobile phone apps; (3) participants desired the objective DFU size data provided by the tracking feature of MyFootCare to monitor their DFU progress; (4) participants were ambivalent about the MyFootCare goal image and diary features, commenting that these features were useful but also that it was unlikely that they would use them; and (5) participants desired to share their MyFootCare data with their clinicians to demonstrate engagement in self-care and to reflect on their progress. Conclusions: MyFootCare shows promising features to engage people in DFU self-care. Most notably, ulcer size data are useful to monitor progress and engage people. However, more work is needed to improve the usability and accuracy of MyFootCare, that is, by refining the process of taking and analyzing photos of DFUs and removing unnecessary features. These findings open the door for further work to develop a system that is easy to use and functions in everyday life conditions and to test it with people with DFUs and their carers.

  • Source: Robins Air Force Base (Misuzu Allen); Copyright: US Air Force; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    The Phased Implementation of a National Telehealth Weight Management Program for Veterans: Mixed-Methods Program Evaluation


    Background: The burden of obesity is high among US veterans, yet many face barriers to engaging in in-person, facility-based treatment programs. To improve access to weight-management services, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) developed TeleMOVE, a home-based, 82-day curriculum that utilizes in-home messaging devices to promote weight loss in VHA patients facing barriers to accessing facility-based services. Objective: The primary aim was to establish preliminary evidence for the program by comparing outcomes for TeleMOVE with standard, facility-based MOVE weight-management services (group, individual modalities) over the evaluation period based on the number of patients enrolled per site and the program’s clinical effectiveness, as demonstrated by average weight lost per patient. The secondary aim was to understand factors influencing TeleMOVE implementation variability across demonstration sites to develop recommendations to improve national program dissemination. Methods: We employed a formative mixed-methods design to evaluate the phased implementation of TeleMOVE at 9 demonstration sites and compare patient- and site-level measures of program uptake. Data were collected between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2011. Patient-level program outcomes were extracted from VHA patient care databases to evaluate program enrollment rates and clinical outcomes. To assess preliminary clinical effectiveness, weight loss outcomes for veterans who enrolled in TeleMOVE were compared with outcomes for veterans enrolled in standard MOVE! at each demonstration site, as well as with national averages during the first 2 years of program implementation. For the secondary aim, we invited program stakeholders to participate in 2 rounds of semistructured interviews about aspects of TeleMOVE implementation processes, site-level contextual factors, and program delivery. Twenty-eight stakeholders participated in audio-recorded interviews. Results: Although stakeholders at 3 sites declined to be interviewed, objective program uptake was high at 2 sites, delayed-high at 2 sites, and low at 5 sites. At 6 months post enrollment, the mean weight loss was comparable for TeleMOVE (n=417) and MOVE! (n=1543) participants at −5.2 lb (SD 14.4) and −5.1 lb (SD 12.2), respectively (P=.91). All sites reported high program complexity because TeleMOVE required more staff time per participant than MOVE! due to logistical and technical assistance issues related to the devices. High-uptake sites overcame implementation challenges by leveraging communication networks with stakeholders, adapting the program to patient needs whenever possible, setting programmatic goals and monitoring feedback of results, and taking time to reflect and evaluate on delivery to foster incremental delivery improvements, whereas low-uptake sites reported less leadership support and effective communication among stakeholders. Conclusions: This implementation evaluation of a clinical telehealth program demonstrated the value of partnership-based research in which researchers not only provided operational leaders with feedback regarding the effectiveness of a new program but also relevant feedback into contextual factors related to program implementation to enable adaptations for national deployment efforts.

  • Source: Accuhealth Chile; Copyright: Accuhealth Chile; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Web-Based Interventions for Depression in Individuals with Diabetes: Review and Discussion


    Background: Depression is twice as common in people with diabetes, and this comorbidity worsens the course of both pathologies. In clinical practice guidelines, screening and treatment of depression in patients with diabetes are highly recommended. However, depression is still both underrecognized and undertreated. To find ways to enhance their reach, psychological treatments have taken advantage of benefits of internet and technological devices as delivery formats, providing interventions that require considerably less (or even no) interaction time with therapists. Web-based treatments hold promise for effective interventions at low cost with positive results. Objective: The objectives of this review were to describe Web-based interventions for depression in individuals with diabetes and to discuss these studies’ procedures and findings in light of evidence from a wider range of interventions for depression and diabetes. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted in PsycINFO and MEDLINE electronic databases. Studies were included when they met the following selection criteria: the study was available in a peer-reviewed journal mainly publishing studies written in either English or Spanish; the studied sample comprised individuals with diabetes; the intervention targeted depression symptomatology; the intervention was accessible via the internet; and the intervention was accessible via the internet with little or no clinician support. Results: Overall, 5 research studies were identified in the review. All studies were randomized controlled trials, and most used a wait list as a control; 4 studies reported treatment dropout, rates of which varied from 13% to 42%. Studies supported the notion that the Web-based format is a suitable psychology service delivery option for diabetic individuals with depression (effect size range for completers 0.7-0.89). Interventions varied in their characteristics but most were clinical-assisted, had a cognitive behavioral therapy approach, used diabetes-specific topics, had a weekly modular display, used homework assignments, and had some adherence management strategy. These characteristics are consistent with the intervention features associated with positive results in the literature. Conclusions: The analyzed studies’ findings and procedures are discussed in light of evidence drawn from a wider range of reviews on Web-based interventions for depression and diabetes. Consistent with previous research on depression treatment, Web-based interventions for depression among individuals with diabetes have shown positive results. Future research should contribute new evidence as to why these interventions are effective, for whom, and which particular aspects can increase patients’ adherence.

  • Low-Carb Program (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Outcomes of a Digitally Delivered Low-Carbohydrate Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Program: 1-Year Results of a Single-Arm Longitudinal Study


    Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus has serious health consequences, including blindness, amputation, stroke, and dementia, and its annual global costs are more than US $800 billion. Although typically considered a progressive, nonreversible disease, some researchers and clinicians now argue that type 2 diabetes may be effectively treated with a carbohydrate-reduced diet. Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the 1-year outcomes of the digitally delivered Low-Carb Program, a nutritionally focused, 10-session educational intervention for glycemic control and weight loss for adults with type 2 diabetes. The program reinforces carbohydrate restriction using behavioral techniques including goal setting, peer support, and behavioral self-monitoring. Methods: The study used a quasi-experimental research design comprised of an open-label, single-arm, pre-post intervention using a sample of convenience. From adults with type 2 diabetes who had joined the program and had a complete baseline dataset, we randomly selected participants to be followed for 1 year (N=1000; mean age 56.1, SD 15.7 years; 59.30% (593/1000) women; mean glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 7.8%, SD 2.1%; mean body weight 89.6 kg, SD 23.1 kg; taking mean 1.2, SD 1.01 diabetes medications). Results: Of the 1000 study participants, 708 (70.80%) individuals reported outcomes at 12 months, 672 (67.20%) completed at least 40% of the lessons, and 528 (52.80%) completed all lessons of the program. Of the 743 participants with a starting HbA1c at or above the type 2 diabetes threshold of 6.5%, 195 (26.2%) reduced their HbA1c to below the threshold while taking no glucose-lowering medications or just metformin. Of the participants who were taking at least one hypoglycemic medication at baseline, 40.4% (289/714) reduced one or more of these medications. Almost half (46.40%, 464/1000) of all participants lost at least 5% of their body weight. Overall, glycemic control and weight loss improved, especially for participants who completed all 10 modules of the program. For example, participants with elevated baseline HbA1c (≥7.5%) who engaged with all 10 weekly modules reduced their HbA1c from 9.2% to 7.1% (P<.001) and lost an average of 6.9% of their body weight (P<.001). Conclusions: Especially for participants who fully engage, an online program that teaches a carbohydrate-reduced diet to adults with type 2 diabetes can be effective for glycemic control, weight loss, and reducing hypoglycemic medications.

  • FullFlow + knowledge-based module instance on iPad (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Design and Development of a Context-Aware Knowledge-Based Module for Identifying Relevant Information and Information Gaps in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes...


    Background: Patients with diabetes use an increasing number of self-management tools in their daily life. However, health institutions rarely use the data generated by these services mainly due to (1) the lack of data reliability, and (2) medical workers spending too much time extracting relevant information from the vast amount of data produced. This work is part of the FullFlow project, which focuses on self-collected health data sharing directly between patients’ tools and EHRs. Objective: The main objective is to design and implement a prototype for extracting relevant information and documenting information gaps from self-collected health data by patients with type 1 diabetes using a context-aware approach. The module should permit (1) clinicians to assess the reliability of the data and to identify issues to discuss with their patients, and (2) patients to understand the implication their lifestyle has on their disease. Methods: The identification of context and the design of the system relied on (1) 2 workshops in which the main author participated, 1 patient with type 1 diabetes, and 1 clinician, and (2) a co-design session involving 5 patients with type 1 diabetes and 4 clinicians including 2 endocrinologists and 2 diabetes nurses. The software implementation followed a hybrid agile and waterfall approach. The testing relied on load, and black and white box methods. Results: We created a context-aware knowledge-based module able to (1) detect potential errors, and information gaps from the self-collected health data, (2) pinpoint relevant data and potential causes of noticeable medical events, and (3) recommend actions to follow to improve the reliability of the data issues and medical issues to be discussed with clinicians. The module uses a reasoning engine following a hypothesize-and-test strategy built on a knowledge base and using contextual information. The knowledge base contains hypotheses, rules, and plans we defined with the input of medical experts. We identified a large set of contextual information: emotional state (eg, preferences, mood) of patients and medical workers, their relationship, their metadata (eg, age, medical specialty), the time and location of usage of the system, patient-collected data (eg, blood glucose, basal-bolus insulin), patients’ goals and medical standards (eg, insulin sensitivity factor, in range values). Demonstrating the usage of the system revealed that (1) participants perceived the system as useful and relevant for consultation, and (2) the system uses less than 30 milliseconds to treat new cases. Conclusions: Using a knowledge-based system to identify anomalies concerning the reliability of patients’ self-collected health data to provide information on potential information gaps and to propose relevant medical subjects to discuss or actions to follow could ease the introduction of self-collected health data into consultation. Combining this reasoning engine and the system of the FullFlow project could improve the diagnostic process in health care.

  • Diabetic foot ulcer. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Models Used in Clinical Decision Support Systems Supporting Healthcare Professionals Treating Chronic Wounds: Systematic Literature Review


    Background: Chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, and pressure ulcers are a massive burden to health care facilities. Many randomized controlled trials on different wound care elements have been conducted and published in the Cochrane Library, all of which have only a low evidential basis. Thus, health care professionals are forced to rely on their own experience when making decisions regarding wound care. To progress from experience-based practice to evidence-based wound care practice, clinical decision support systems (CDSS) that help health care providers with decision-making in a clinical workflow have been developed. These systems have proven useful in many areas of the health care sector, partly because they have increased the quality of care, and partially because they have generated a solid basis for evidence-based practice. However, no systematic reviews focus on CDSS within the field of wound care to chronic wounds. Objective: The aims of this systematic literature review are (1) to identify models used in CDSS that support health care professionals treating chronic wounds, and (2) to classify each clinical decision support model according to selected variables and to create an overview. Methods: A systematic review was conducted using 6 databases. This systematic literature review follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement for systematic reviews. The search strategy consisted of three facets, respectively: Facet 1 (Algorithm), Facet 2 (Wound care) and Facet 3 (Clinical decision support system). Studies based on acute wounds or trauma were excluded. Similarly, studies that presented guidelines, protocols and instructions were excluded, since they do not require progression along an active chain of reasoning from the clinicians, just their focus. Finally, studies were excluded if they had not undergone a peer review process. The following aspects were extracted from each article: authors, year, country, the sample size of data and variables describing the type of clinical decision support models. The decision support models were classified in 2 ways: quantitative decision support models, and qualitative decision support models. Results: The final number of studies included in the systematic literature review was 10. These clinical decision support models included 4/10 (40%) quantitative decision support models and 6/10 (60%) qualitative decision support models. The earliest article was published in 2007, and the most recent was from 2015. Conclusions: The clinical decision support models were targeted at a variety of different types of chronic wounds. The degree of accessibility of the inference engines varied. Quantitative models served as the engine and were invisible to the health care professionals, while qualitative models required interaction with the user.

  • NODE mobile health intervention (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    New-Onset Diabetes Educator to Educate Children and Their Caregivers About Diabetes at the Time of Diagnosis: Usability Study


    Background: Diabetes self-management education is essential at the time of diagnosis. We developed the New-Onset Diabetes Educator (NODE), an animation-based educational web application for type 1 diabetes mellitus patients. Objective: Our hypothesis is that NODE is a feasible, effective and user-friendly intervention in improving diabetes self-management education delivery to child/caregiver-dyads at the time of diagnosis. Methods: We used a pragmatic parallel randomized trial design. Dyads were recruited within 48 hours of diagnosis and randomized into a NODE-enhanced diabetes self-management education or a standard diabetes self-management education group. Dyads randomized in the NODE group received the intervention on an iPad before receiving the standard diabetes self-management education with a nurse educator. The Diabetes Knowledge Test 2 assessed disease-specific knowledge pre- and postintervention in both groups, and was compared using t tests. Usability of the NODE mobile health intervention was assessed in the NODE group. Results: We recruited 16 dyads (mean child age 10.75, SD 3.44). Mean Diabetes Knowledge Test 2 scores were 14.25 (SD 4.17) and 18.13 (SD 2.17) pre- and postintervention in the NODE group, and 15.50 (SD 2.67) and 17.38 (SD 2.26) in the standard diabetes self-management education group. The effect size was medium (Δ=0.56). Usability ratings of NODE were excellent. Conclusions: NODE is a feasible mobile health strategy for type 1 diabetes education. It has the potential to be an effective and scalable tool to enhance diabetes self-management education at time of diagnosis, and consequently, could lead to improved long-term clinical outcomes for patients living with the disease.

  • Source: Vimeo; Copyright: Katie Verrant; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Experiences of Using Web-Based and Mobile Technologies to Support Self-Management of Type 2 Diabetes: Qualitative Study


    Background: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rising, placing increasing strain on health care services. Web-based and mobile technologies can be an important source of information and support for people with type 2 diabetes and may prove beneficial with respect to reducing complications due to mismanagement. To date, little research has been performed to gain an insight into people’s perspectives of using such technologies in their daily management. Objective: The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of using Web-based and mobile technologies to support the management of type 2 diabetes. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 people with type 2 diabetes to explore experiences of using Web-based and mobile technologies to manage their diabetes. Transcripts were analyzed using the framework method. Results: Technology supported the users to maintain individualized and tailored goals when managing their health. A total of 7 themes were identified as important to participants when using technology to support self-management: (1) information, (2) understanding individual health and personal data, (3) reaching and sustaining goals, (4) minimizing disruption to daily life, (5) reassurance, (6) communicating with health care professionals, and (7) coordinated care. Conclusions: Patients need to be supported to manage their condition to improve well-being and prevent diabetes-related complications from arising. Technologies enabled the users to get an in-depth sense of how their body reacted to both lifestyle and medication factors—something that was much more difficult with the use of traditional standardized information alone. It is intended that the results of this study will inform a new questionnaire designed to assess self-management in people using Web-based and mobile technology to manage their health.

  • TuDiabetes online community (montage). Source: TuDiabetes /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Effect of Diabetes Online Community Engagement on Health Indicators: Cross-Sectional Study


    Background: Successful diabetes management requires ongoing lifelong self-care and can require that individuals with diabetes become experts in translating care recommendations into real-life day-to-day diabetes self-care strategies. The diabetes online community comprises multiple websites that include social media sites, blogs, and discussion groups for people with diabetes to chat and exchange information. Online communities can provide disease-specific practical advice and emotional support, allow users to share experiences, and encourage self-advocacy and patient empowerment. However, there has been little research about whether diabetes online community use is associated with better diabetes self-care or quality of life. Objective: The aim of this study was to survey adults with diabetes who participated in the diabetes online community to better understand and describe who is using the diabetes online community, how they are using it, and whether the use of the diabetes online community was associated with health indicators. Methods: We recruited adults diagnosed with diabetes who used at least one of 4 different diabetes-related online communities to complete an online survey. Participants’ demographics, reported glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), health-related quality of life (SF-12v2), level of diabetes self-care (Self-Care Inventory-Revised), and diabetes online community use (level of intensity and engagement) were collected. We examined the relationships between demographics, diabetes online community use, and health indicators (health-related quality of life, self-care, and HbA1c levels). We used binary logistic regression to determine the extent to which diabetes online community use predicted an HbA1c <7% or ≥7% after controlling statistically for other variables in the model. Results: A total of 183 adults participated in this study. Participants were mostly female (71.6%, 131/183), white (95.1%, 174/183), US citizens (82.5%, 151/183), had type 1 diabetes (69.7%, 129/183), with a mean age of 44.7 years (SD 14) and diabetes duration of 18.2 years (SD 14.6). Participants had higher diabetes self-care (P<.001, mean 72.4, SD 12.1) and better health-related quality of life (physical component summary P<.001, mean 64.8, SD 19; mental component summary P<.001, mean 66.6, SD 21.6) when compared with norms for diabetes. Diabetes online community engagement was a strong predictor of A1c, reducing the odds of having an A1c ≥7% by 33.8% for every point increase in diabetes online community engagement (0-5). Our data also indicated that study participants are oftentimes (67.2%, 123/183) not informing their healthcare providers about their diabetes online community use even though most (91.2%, 161/181) are seeing their healthcare provider on a regular basis. Conclusions: Our results suggest that individuals highly engaged with diabetes online community are more likely to have better glycemic levels compared with those with lower engagement. Furthermore, diabetes online community users have high health-related quality of life and diabetes self-care levels. Supplementing usual healthcare activities with diabetes online community use may encourage knowledge and support among a population that needs to optimize its diabetes self-care. Further studies are needed to determine how diabetes online community engagement may affect health outcomes.

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