Diabetes and Telecommunications: Study to Support Self-Management for People with Type 2 Diabetes A Randomized Controlled Trial in Mayo Hospital, Lahore


  • Author- Abdullah Altaf, Abdul Aleem Bhatti, Afia Tehreem Gilanee, Abyaz Asmar


To investigate if telecommunications can improve the quality of life among type 2 diabetics, and results could then be projected to the management of other chronic illnesses as well. The alarmingly rising prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its crippling complications in Pakistan asks for modern solutions to ensure better quality of life among patients with type 2 diabetes.


This was a single centre, two arm parallel randomized controlled trial in which two groups of 133 type 2 diabetic patients presenting to the Diabetic clinic of Mayo Hospital, Lahore were randomly assorted into intervention and control groups. Motivational text messages regarding lifestyle modifications were sent to the intervention group for a period of one month. Fasting blood glucose was the primary outcome and BMI, blood pressure and physical activity score were the secondary outcomes of our study.


 In the intervention group, mean fasting blood glucose before and after intervention were 227.8 mg/dL and 243.71 mg/dL respectively. The FBG in the control group also increased from 238.33 mg/dL to 249.10 mg/dL during the study period. However, the DATES intervention increased the number of healthy weight patients from 42 to 55 (improvement of 10%) in the intervention group while the control group showed a worsening trend. With the 1 month DATES intervention, the number of normotensive patients increased from 21 to 32 while patients with BP greater than 120/75 mmHg decreased by 8% which was a statistically significant improvement compared to the control group. Physical activity scores also improved with sedentary life style in patients decreasing by 15% after intervention.


 Although the fasting blood glucose levels did not improve after the intervention, the significant improvement in BMI, blood pressures and physical activity scores among the intervention group clearly suggests that if used for longer periods of time and if coupled with changes in medications and treatment regimens, intervention through mobile phone text messages can improve the glycemic control and overall quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes, fasting blood glucose (FBG), body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP), physical activity, diabetes and telecommunications (DATES intervention).