Patients' Use of Social Media for Diabetes Self-Care: Systematic Review.

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    • Abstract:
      Background: Patient engagement with diabetes self-care is critical to reducing morbidity and mortality. Social media is one form of digital health that is available for diabetes self-care, although its use for peer-to-peer communication has not been systematically described, and its potential to support patient self-care is unclear.Objective: The primary aim of this systematic review was to describe the use of social media among patients (peer-to-peer) to manage diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The secondary aim was to assess patients' clinical outcomes, behavioral outcomes, quality of life, and self-efficacy resulting from peer-to-peer social media use.Methods: We conducted a literature search in the following databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, CINAHL, and PsycINFO (January 2008 through April 2019). The inclusion criteria were quantitative studies that included peer-to-peer use of social media for self-care of diabetes mellitus (with all subtypes) and CVD, including stroke.Results: After an initial yield of 3066 citations, we selected 91 articles for a full-text review and identified 7 papers that met our inclusion criteria. Of these, 4 studies focused on type 1 diabetes, 1 study included both type 1 and 2 diabetes, and 2 studies included multiple chronic conditions (eg, CVD, diabetes, depression, etc). Our search did not yield any individual studies on CVD alone. Among the selected papers, 2 studies used commercial platforms (Facebook and I Seek You), 3 studies used discussion forums developed specifically for each study, and 2 surveyed patients through different platforms or blogs. There was significant heterogeneity in the study designs, methodologies, and outcomes applied, but all studies showed favorable results on either primary or secondary outcomes. The quality of studies was highly variable.Conclusions: The future landscape of social media use for patient self-care is promising. However, current use is nascent. Our extensive search yielded only 7 studies, all of which included diabetes, indicating the most interest and demand for peer-to-peer interaction on diabetes self-care. Future research is needed to establish efficacy and safety in recommending social media use among peers for diabetes self-care and other conditions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]