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      Facilitators and Barriers to Chronic Disease Self-Management and Mobile Health Interventions for People Living With Diabetes and Hypertension in Cambodia: Qualitative Study


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          In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death as cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension rapidly increase. The Cambodian nongovernmental organization, MoPoTsyo, trains local residents with diabetes to be peer educators (PEs) to deliver chronic disease self-management training and medications to 14,000 people with hypertension and/or diabetes in Cambodia. We collaborated with MoPoTsyo to develop a mobile-based messaging intervention (mobile health; mHealth) to link MoPoTsyo’s database, PEs, pharmacies, clinics, and people living with diabetes and/or hypertension to improve adherence to evidence-based treatment guidelines.


          This study aimed to understand the facilitators and barriers to chronic disease management and the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of mHealth to support chronic disease management and strengthen community-clinical linkages to existing services.


          We conducted an exploratory qualitative study using semistructured interviews and focus groups with PEs and people living with diabetes and/or hypertension. Interviews were recorded and conducted in Khmer script, transcribed and translated into the English language, and uploaded into Atlas.ti for analysis. We used a thematic analysis to identify key facilitators and barriers to disease management and opportunities for mHealth content and format. The information-motivation-behavioral model was used to guide data collection, analysis, and message development.


          We conducted six focus groups (N=59) and 11 interviews in one urban municipality and five rural operating districts from three provinces in October 2016. PE network participants desired mHealth to address barriers to chronic disease management through reminders about medications, laboratory tests and doctor’s consultations, education on how to incorporate self-management into their daily lives, and support for obstacles to disease management. Participants preferred mobile-based voice messages to arrive at dinnertime for improved phone access and family support. They desired voice messages over texts to communicate trust and increase accessibility for persons with limited literacy, vision, and smartphone access. PEs shared similar views and perceived mHealth as acceptable and feasible for supporting their work. We developed 34 educational, supportive, and reminder mHealth messages based on these findings.


          These mHealth messages are currently being tested in a cluster randomized controlled trial (#1R21TW010160) to improve diabetes and hypertension control in Cambodia. This study has implications for practice and policies in Cambodia and other LMICs and low-resource US settings that are working to engage PEs and build community-clinical linkages to facilitate chronic disease management.

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          Can the ubiquitous power of mobile phones be used to improve health outcomes in developing countries?

          Background The ongoing policy debate about the value of communications technology in promoting development objectives is diverse. Some view computer/web/phone communications technology as insufficient to solve development problems while others view communications technology as assisting all sections of the population. This paper looks at evidence to support or refute the idea that fixed and mobile telephones is, or could be, an effective healthcare intervention in developing countries. Methods A Web-based and library database search was undertaken including the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, (nursing & allied health), Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), POPLINE, BIOSIS, and Web of Science, AIDSearch (MEDLINE AIDS/HIV Subset, AIDSTRIALS & AIDSDRUGS) databases. Results Evidence can be found to both support and refute the proposition that fixed and mobile telephones is, or could be, an effective healthcare intervention in developing countries. It is difficult to generalize because of the different outcome measurements and the small number of controlled studies. There is almost no literature on using mobile telephones as a healthcare intervention for HIV, TB, malaria, and chronic conditions in developing countries. Clinical outcomes are rarely measured. Convincing evidence regarding the overall cost-effectiveness of mobile phone " telemedicine" is still limited and good-quality studies are rare. Evidence of the cost effectiveness of such interventions to improve adherence to medicines is also quite weak. Conclusion The developed world model of personal ownership of a phone may not be appropriate to the developing world in which shared mobile telephone use is important. Sharing may be a serious drawback to use of mobile telephones as a healthcare intervention in terms of stigma and privacy, but its magnitude is unknown. One advantage, however, of telephones with respect to adherence to medicine in chronic care models is its ability to create a multi-way interaction between patient and provider(s) and thus facilitate the dynamic nature of this relationship. Regulatory reforms required for proper operation of basic and value-added telecommunications services are a priority if mobile telecommunications are to be used for healthcare initiatives.
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            Effectiveness of mobile phone messaging in prevention of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle modification in men in India: a prospective, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial.

            Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented by lifestyle modification; however, successful lifestyle intervention programmes are labour intensive. Mobile phone messaging is an inexpensive alternative way to deliver educational and motivational advice about lifestyle modification. We aimed to assess whether mobile phone messaging that encouraged lifestyle change could reduce incident type 2 diabetes in Indian Asian men with impaired glucose tolerance. We did a prospective, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial between Aug 10, 2009, and Nov 30, 2012, at ten sites in southeast India. Working Indian men (aged 35-55 years) with impaired glucose tolerance were randomly assigned (1:1) with a computer-generated randomisation sequence to a mobile phone messaging intervention or standard care (control group). Participants in the intervention group received frequent mobile phone messages compared with controls who received standard lifestyle modification advice at baseline only. Field staff and participants were, by necessity, not masked to study group assignment, but allocation was concealed from laboratory personnel as well as principal and co-investigators. The primary outcome was incidence of type 2 diabetes, analysed by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00819455. We assessed 8741 participants for eligibility. 537 patients were randomly assigned to either the mobile phone messaging intervention (n=271) or standard care (n=266). The cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes was lower in those who received mobile phone messages than in controls: 50 (18%) participants in the intervention group developed type 2 diabetes compared with 73 (27%) in the control group (hazard ratio 0·64, 95% CI 0·45-0·92; p=0·015). The number needed to treat to prevent one case of type 2 diabetes was 11 (95% CI 6-55). One patient in the control group died suddenly at the end of the first year. We recorded no other serious adverse events. Mobile phone messaging is an effective and acceptable method to deliver advice and support towards lifestyle modification to prevent type 2 diabetes in men at high risk. The UK India Education and Research Initiative, the World Diabetes Foundation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Non‐Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in developing countries: a symposium report

              In recent years, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have globally shown increasing impact on health status in populations with disproportionately higher rates in developing countries. NCDs are the leading cause of mortality worldwide and a serious public health threat to developing countries. Recognizing the importance and urgency of the issue, a one-day symposium was organized on NCDs in Developing Countries by the CIHLMU Center for International Health, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich on 22nd March 2014. The objective of the symposium was to understand the current situation of different NCDs public health programs and the current trends in NCDs research and policy, promote exchange of ideas, encourage scientific debate and foster networking, partnerships and opportunities among experts from different clinical, research, and policy fields. The symposium was attended by more than seventy participants representing scientists, physicians, academics and students from several institutes in Germany and abroad. Seven key note presentations were made at the symposium by experts from Germany, UK, France, Bangladesh and Vietnam. This paper highlights the presentations and discussions during the symposium on different aspects of NCDs in developing countries. The symposium elucidated the dynamics of NCDs in developing countries and invited the participants to learn about evidence-based practices and policies for prevention and management of major NCDs and to debate the way forward.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Mhealth Uhealth
                JMIR Mhealth Uhealth
                JMIR mHealth and uHealth
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                April 2020
                24 April 2020
                : 8
                : 4
                [1 ] Department of Health Services University of Washington Seattle, WA United States
                [2 ] MoPoTsyo Patient Information Centre Phnom Penh Cambodia
                [3 ] Division of General Internal Medicine University of Washington Seattle, WA United States
                [4 ] General Medicine Service VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle, WA United States
                [5 ] Department of Medicine University of Washington Seattle, WA United States
                [6 ] Department of Global Health University of Washington Seattle, WA United States
                [7 ] Departments of Family Medicine University of Washington Seattle, WA United States
                [8 ] Department of Epidemiology University of Washington Seattle, WA United States
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Lesley Steinman lesles@ 123456uw.edu
                ©Lesley Steinman, Hen Heang, Maurits van Pelt, Nicole Ide, Haixia Cui, Mayuree Rao, James LoGerfo, Annette Fitzpatrick. Originally published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 24.04.2020.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://mhealth.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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