Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 422–435 | Cite as

Patient Web Portals to Improve Diabetes Outcomes: A Systematic Review

  • Chandra Y. OsbornEmail author
  • Lindsay Satterwhite Mayberry
  • Shelagh A. Mulvaney
  • Rachel Hess


Patient web portals (PWPs), defined as the integration of electronic medical records and patient health records, have been related to enhanced patient outcomes. A literature review was conducted to characterize the design and evaluation of PWPs to improve health care processes and outcomes in diabetes. A summary of 26 articles revealed the positive impact PWPs have on patient outcomes, patient-provider communication, disease management, and access to and patient satisfaction with health care. Innovative and useful approaches included the evaluation of specific components of the PWPs, assessing the impact of PWPs on mediators of health behaviors, such as patient distress, identification of barriers to use, and patient willingness to pay for access. Future research should focus on relevant processes that mediate patient and provider use, impact on health care utilization, and a patient-centered approach to the design and integration of educational opportunities afforded through PWPs.


Patient web portal Systematic review Diabetes Evaluation Usability Electronic health record Personal health record Glycemic control Satisfaction Type 1 Type 2 Providers Caregivers Self-care Behaviors Quality of life Diabetes distress Management Communication 



Dr. Chandra Y. Osborn is supported by a Diversity Supplement Award (NIDDK P60 DK020593). Dr. Shelagh A. Mulvaney is supported by NIDDK P60 DK020593, DK 070026, and AHRQ R18 HS018168. Dr. Rachel Hess is supported by a grant from the Department of Defense for development, evaluation, and adaptation of a PWP.


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chandra Y. Osborn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lindsay Satterwhite Mayberry
    • 2
  • Shelagh A. Mulvaney
    • 3
  • Rachel Hess
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of General Internal Medicine & Public Health, Center for Health Services ResearchVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Peabody College, Community Research and ActionVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.School of NursingVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Medicine and EpidemiologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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