The Effect of Telemedicine on Self-Care Activities of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Patient Satisfaction During the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study


Introduction: Patients with diabetes require regular follow-ups to achieve optimal glycemic targets. The coronavirus- 19 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in interruptions in healthcare delivery placing greater importance on patient’s self-management of their condition. Telemedicine bridged the gap between the physician and patient that was created by community quarantines.

Objective: To determine if there is a difference in patient’s self-care activities before and after using telemedicine using the Diabetes Self-Management Questionnaire (DSMQ).

Methodology: A descriptive repeated cross-sectional study of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital who consulted via telemedicine using different available platforms were included. Self-care was measured using the DSMQ. Patient satisfaction with telemedicine was also assessed using a patient satisfaction survey.

Results: An improvement in self-care practices was seen as significantly higher mean DSMQ scores after telemedicine consultations (6.79 ± 1.33 to 7.32 ± 1.21, p = 0.0015), with the highest scores on dietary control and physical activity. There was a statistically significant reduction in HbA1c on follow up (8.37 ± 2.31 to 7.31 ± 1.36; p<0.00001). Those with well-controlled diabetes (n = 14) at baseline remained to have good control while the proportion of those with poorly controlled diabetes (n = 34) showed improved glycemic control on follow up (p = 0.0045). Most patients were highly satisfied with telemedicine.

Conclusion: The use of telemedicine by patients with diabetes showed numerical improvement in both self-care practices and glycemic control. These findings imply that telemedicine may be mainstreamed as part of diabetes care among Filipinos.

Keywords: COVID-19, telemedicine, diabetes, self-care activities

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