Objective: To explore the role of WeChat official account in community-based diabetes management.
Methods: This study was conducted from May to November 2017 in 220 patients with type 2 diabetes, who were selected from the registered patients receiving the management of Huangpu District Ruijin 2nd Road Community Health Center (HDRSRCHC), and those individuals participated in the activity of “Concern about Physical Examination” initiated by HDRSRCHC. Using the random number table, the participants were equally divided into the control group receiving the conventional health management, and the observation group receiving the conventional health management, plus peer support from the WeChat self-health management group, and management (including regular health education of diabetes-related knowledge, blood glucose monitoring, instructions for individual health-related behaviors and medication) from health management group (consisting of physicians, nurses and dietitians) established on the platform of the WeChat official account set up and run by the HDRSRCHC. We compared the levels of glycemic and blood lipid indices, and scores of MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36) between the groups before and after a 6-month intervention. Moreover, the level of satisfaction with the management was also compared between the groups at the end of intervention.
Results: Before intervention, two groups showed similar average levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol (TG), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), as well as similar average scores of all the domains of SF-36 (physical functioning, physical role functioning, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality, social role functioning, emotional role functioning, mental health) (P>0.05). However, after intervention, compared with the control group, the observation group demonstrated much lower average levels of HbA1c, TC, TG and LDL-C, and significantly higher average scores of all the domains of SF-36 (P<0.05). Furthermore, the observation group presented obviously higher average level of satisfaction with management (P<0.05).
Conclusion: We Chat official account plays an important role in enhancing the participation in self-management, promoting glycemic control, and improving the quality of life among community-dwelling patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, it achieves high level of patient satisfaction.