Effects of mobile health interventions on health-related outcomes in older adults with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic metabolic condition that is associated with multiple comorbidities. Apart from pharmacological approaches, patient self-management remains the gold standard of care for diabetes. Improving patients' self-management among the elderly with mobile health (mHealth) interventions is critical, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the extent of mHealth efficacy in managing T2DM in the older population remains unknown. Hence, the present review examined the effectiveness of mHealth interventions on cardiometabolic outcomes in older adults with T2DM.
Methods: A systematic search from the inception till May 31, 2021, in the MEDLINE, Embase, and PubMed databases was conducted, and 16 randomized controlled trials were included in the analysis.
Results: The results showed significant benefits on glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) (mean difference -0.24%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.44, -0.05; p = 0.01), postprandial blood glucose (-2.91 mmol/L; 95% CI: -4.78, -1.03; p = 0.002), and triglycerides (-0.09 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.17, -0.02; p = 0.010), but not on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-0.06 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.14, 0.02; p = 0.170), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.05 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.03, 0.13; p = 0.220), and blood pressure (systolic blood pressure -0.82 mm Hg; 95% CI: -4.65, 3.00; p = 0.670; diastolic blood pressure -1.71 mmHg; 95% CI: -3.71, 0.29; p = 0.090).
Conclusions: Among older adults with T2DM, mHealth interventions were associated with improved cardiometabolic outcomes versus usual care. Its efficacy can be improved in the future as the current stage of mHealth development is at its infancy. Addressing barriers such as technological frustrations may help strategize approaches to further increase the uptake and efficacy of mHealth interventions among older adults with T2DM.