Diabetes is a major health care burden in the Middle East region. Social networking tools can contribute to the management of diabetes with improved educational and care outcomes using these popular tools in the region.
The objective of this review was to evaluate the impact of social networking interventions on the improvement of diabetes management and health outcomes in patients with diabetes in the Middle East.
Peer-reviewed articles from PubMed (1990-2017) and Google Scholar (1990-2017) were identified using various combinations of predefined terms and search criteria. The main inclusion criterion consisted of the use of social networking apps on mobile phones as the primary intervention. Outcomes were grouped according to study design, type of diabetes, category of technological intervention, location, and sample size.
This review included 5 articles evaluating the use of social media tools in the management of diabetes in the Middle East. In most studies, the acceptance rate for the use of social networking to optimize the management of diabetes was relatively high. Diabetes-specific management tools such as the Saudi Arabia Networking for Aiding Diabetes and Diabetes Intelligent Management System for Iraq systems helped collect patient information and lower hemoglobin A 1c (HbA 1c) levels, respectively.
The reviewed studies demonstrated the potential of social networking tools being adopted in regions in the Middle East to improve the management of diabetes. Future studies consisting of larger sample sizes spanning multiple regions would provide further insight into the use of social media for improving patient outcomes.