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Study tracks diabetes management via text messaging

Nov. 10, 2016, 8:42 AM

The REACH study is offering Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) primary care patients with type 2 diabetes an opportunity to more easily track medication adherence, monitor A1C results, and make healthy lifestyle choices via text messaging.

REACH, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), is using mobile phone technology to send patients medication dose reminders, provide healthy living tips and feedback on progress, and to answer questions about diabetes medications. reach-logoguide_v1

The 15-month randomized controlled study seeks adults who are prescribed any diabetes medication and have had a recent uncontrolled A1C result, or no recent A1C tests. Patients who own any cellphone with text messaging capabilities are eligible.

“One in three adults with diabetes is not adhering to their medicine to the degree needed to create an improvement in their glycemic control or to prevent complications,” said REACH principal investigator Lindsay Satterwhite Mayberry, Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine in the Center for Health Behavior and Health Education.

“That number is higher among patients who have less access to care or who have overlapping vulnerabilities. We developed this program in community clinics and have had a lot of positive feedback from patients there, so we are offering it to primary care patients at Vanderbilt.

The program is designed to provide diabetes support with reminders, information and encouragement that reaches people where they are in their daily lives.”

Patients can individually tailor their REACH experience by choosing what time of day they receive their text messages. The messages are also tailored to each participant’s prescribed medications and unique challenges to medication adherence.

“We don’t know to what degree patients want or need mobile phone support, so that’s why there are different levels of support within the study,” Mayberry said.

“By giving participants different doses of text messaging and phone calls, we can learn what is most effective. We are trying to find the sweet spot for how much mobile support people need to improve their adherence and glycemic control.”

For more information or to sign up for the REACH study, email or call 615-645-0543.

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