Efficacy, acceptability and feasibility of daily text-messaging in promoting glycaemic control and other clinical outcomes in a low-resource setting of South Africa: A randomised controlled trial

Autoři: Eyitayo Omolara Owolabi aff001;  Daniel Ter Goon aff001;  Anthony Idowu Ajayi aff002
Působiště autorů: Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa aff001;  Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health Unit, African Population and Health Research Centre, APHRC Campus, Nairobi, Kenya aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224791


South Africa is confronted with a high burden of diabetes, the majority of which are poorly controlled. The use of mHealth, specifically text messaging for fostering health, is evolving and studies on its efficacy, the majority of which were conducted in developed countries, have documented mixed findings. There is no such study done amongst patients living with diabetes in the resource-poor settings of South Africa. The aim of this study is to determine the efficacy, acceptability and feasibility of text-messaging in improving glycaemic control and other clinical outcomes among individuals living with diabetes in low-resource settings in Eastern Cape, South Africa. The study adopted a multi-centre, two-arm, parallel, randomised-controlled trial design. The study was conducted amongst patients with an uncontrolled glycaemic status. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 108) and the control arm (n = 108). Participants in the intervention arm received daily educational text messages on diabetes for six months. Data was collected at baseline and six months post-intervention. Blood glucose, blood pressure and anthropometric measurements followed standard procedure. Mixed-model analysis was used to assess the impact of the text messages on blood glucose while linear regression was used to assess its effect on other clinical outcomes such as weight, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The mean age of the participants was 60.64 (SD± 11.58) years. The majority of the participants had a secondary level of education (95.3%) and earned 104.80 to 991.42 USD per month (67.7%). Both arms of the study showed improvement in their blood glucose levels, but the intervention did not have any significant effect, the mean adjusted change in blood glucose was 0.26 (-0.81 to 1.32), p = 0.634. Also, the intervention did not have any significant effect on weight, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Almost all participants (90.74%) were pleased with the intervention and felt it was helpful. Of those who participated in the intervention, 91% completed the follow-up after 6 months. Unidirectional text-messaging was acceptable and feasible amongst adults living with diabetes in this setting. However, its efficacy in improving glycaemic status and other clinical outcomes remains doubtful.

Trial Registration: Pan African Clinical Trial Registry PACTR201810599931422.

Klíčová slova:

Blood pressure – Blood sugar – Body Mass Index – Diet – Health education and awareness – South Africa


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