Telehealth for diabetes self-management in primary healthcare: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Chi Fuk Henry SO, Wai Yee Joanne CHUNG

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77 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diabetes mellitus is prevalent worldwide and the majority of the patients with this metabolic disease are managed in primary healthcare settings. Self-management is, therefore, crucial for the health and wellbeing of people with diabetes. Due to the advancement of information technologies, telehealth intervention as self-management measures potentially offer a possible solution in the primary healthcare arena to cope with the increasing demand for diabetes control. Methods: This study aims to systematically review the effectiveness of telehealth on diabetes control self-management in primary healthcare settings. A keyword search was conducted in six databases for randomised controlled trials. Data extraction and quality assessment of the reviewed studies were done with standardised forms and checklists. A meta-analysis was also performed in this review. Results: Of the seven studies included in this review, all of them reported a decreasing level of glycated haemoglobin. Four studies examined the effect of telehealth interventions on fasting plasma glucose levels; however, the overall effects were insignificant. It is, nonetheless, encouraging to see two studies which investigated their effect on two-hour post-meal glucose levels, and showed positive effects for glycaemic control self-management in the short term. This finding, though only from two studies, points to a promising future of utilising telehealth interventions in controlling this metabolic disease in the primary healthcare arena. Conclusions: This review showed positive effects of telehealth interventions for diabetes control self-management at the primary healthcare stage. Further studies are required to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of telehealth interventions. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-364
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number5
Early online date02 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


So, C. F., & Chung, J. W. Y. (2018). Telehealth for diabetes self-management in primary healthcare: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 24(5), 356-364. doi: 10.1177/1357633X17700552


  • Telehealth
  • Blood glucose
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glycaemic control
  • Glycated haemoglobin
  • Primary healthcare
  • Self-management
  • Telemedicine


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