Text Message-Based Diabetes
Self-Management Support

Text Message-Based Diabetes Self-Management Support (SMS4BG): A Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol

Dobson, R; Whittaker, R; Jiang, Y; Maddison, R; Shepherd, M; Carter, K; Cutfield, R; McNamara, C; Khanolkar, M; Murphy, R (2016)

Trials Journal 2016; 17:179. DOI:10.1186/s13063-016-1305-5

BACKGROUND: Addressing the increasing prevalence, and associated disease burden, of diabetes is a priority of health services internationally. Interventions to support patients to effectively self-manage their condition have the potential to reduce the risk of costly and debilitating complications. The utilisation of mobile phones to deliver self-management support allows for patient-centred care at the frequency and intensity that patients desire from outside the clinic environment. Self-Management Support for Blood Glucose (SMS4BG) is a novel text message-based intervention for supporting people with diabetes to improve self-management behaviours and achieve better glycaemic control and is tailored to individual patient preferences, demographics, clinical characteristics, and culture. This study aims to assess whether SMS4BG can improve glycaemic control in adults with poorly controlled diabetes. This paper outlines the rationale and methods of the trial.

METHODS/DESIGN: A two-arm, parallel, randomised controlled trial will be conducted across New Zealand health districts. One thousand participants will be randomised at a 1:1 ratio to receive SMS4BG, a theoretically based and individually tailored automated text message-based diabetes self-management support programme (intervention) in addition to usual care, or usual care alone (control). The primary outcome is change in glycaemic control (HbA1c) at 9 months. Secondary outcomes include glycaemic control at 3 and 6 months, self-efficacy, self-care behaviours, diabetes distress, health-related quality of life, perceived social support, and illness perceptions. Cost information and healthcare utilisation will also be collected as well as intervention satisfaction and interaction.

DISCUSSION: This study will provide information on the effectiveness of a text message-based self-management support tool for people with diabetes. If found to be effective it has the potential to provide individualised support to people with diabetes across New Zealand (and internationally), thus extending care outside the clinic environment.