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Brief Digital Solutions in Behavior Change Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Literature Review.

Baradez C, Liska J, Brulle-Wohlhueter C, Pushkarna D, Baxter M, Piette J. Brief Digital Solutions in Behavior Change Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Literature Review. Diabetes therapy : research, treatment and education of diabetes and related disorders. 2022 Apr 1; 13(4):635-649.

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INTRODUCTION: With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems increasingly look to digital health solutions to provide support for self-management to people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). This review aimed to assess brief digital behavior change solutions (i.e., solutions that require limited engagement or contact) for T2D, including use of behavior change techniques (BCTs) and their impact on self-care and glycemic control. METHODS: A review was conducted by searching Embase and gray literature using a predefined search strategy to identify randomized controlled trials (RCT) published between January 1, 2015, and March 21, 2021. BCTs were coded using an internationally established BCT taxonomy v1 (BCTTv1). RESULTS: Out of 1426 articles identified, 10 RCTs were included in qualitative synthesis. Of these, six reported significant improvements in primary outcome(s), including improved patient engagement, glycemic control, self-efficacy, and physical activity. Interventions as short as 12 min were found to be effective, and users' ability to control their preferences was noted as conducive to engagement. Almost three quarters of BCTs targeted by interventions were under the hierarchical clusters of "Feedback and monitoring," "Goals and planning," and "Shaping knowledge." Interventions that targeted fewer BCTs were at least as effective as interventions that were more comprehensive in their goals. DISCUSSION: Digital behavior change solutions can successfully improve T2D self-care support and outcomes in a variety of populations including patients with low incomes, limited educational attainment, or living in rural areas. Easy-to-use interventions tailored to patient needs may be as effective as lengthy, complex, and more generalized interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Brief digital solutions can improve clinical and behavioral outcomes while reducing patient burden, fitting more easily in patients' lives and potentially improving usability. As T2D patients increasingly expect access to self-care assistance between face-to-face encounters, digital support tools will play a greater role in effective diabetes management programs.

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