A Web-Based Dietary Intervention for People with Type 2 Diabetes: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

  • Amutha Ramadas
  • Carina Ka Yee Chan
  • Brian Oldenburg
  • Zanariah Hussien
  • Kia Fatt Quek



Diabetes is becoming a very important health issue in rapidly developing nations and there is an urgent need to improve overall diabetes self-management education in these countries. Although e-health is an emerging theme, only a few successful web-based studies on diabetes self-management have been reported.


We describe the development, implementation, and process evaluation of an Internet-delivered dietary intervention program (myDIDeA) for diabetic patients in a developing country.


Specific dietary components to be included in the intervention module were first identified through a comprehensive review of literature and guidelines. The lesson plans and the study website were then developed based on the evidence, Transtheoretical Model’s Stages of Change and user-centered design approach. Finally, the effectiveness of the website was tested through a randomized-controlled trial to promote dietary change in patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants in the intervention group (n = 66) were given access to myDIDeA for 6 months. Process evaluation in form of intervention adherence and program reception were conducted at post intervention.


The response rate for the process evaluation was 89 %. On average, each participant logged in at least once for each lesson plan and spent almost 12 min on the site. The participants’ content satisfaction, acceptability, and usability scores were satisfactory. The primary outcome of the trial, Dietary Knowledge, Attitude, and Behavior score was strongly correlated with content satisfaction (r = 0.826, p < 0.001), acceptability (r = 0.793, p < 0.001) and usability of the website (r = 0.724, p < 0.001), and moderately correlated with frequency of log-in (r = 0.501, p < 0.05) and duration spent in the website (r = 0.399, p < 0.05).


The process evaluation of myDIDeA demonstrates its feasibility, and future studies should identify the possibility of extending the use of Internet-based intervention programs to other health behaviors and issues related to self-management of chronic conditions. In addition, interactivity, peer support via social media, and other means to stimulate the interest of participants can be explored.


Diabetes mellitus, Type 2 Diet E-health Health innovation Intervention studies Implementation 



The author (AR) of this publication was supported by the ASCEND Program ( funded by the Fogarty International Centre, National Institutes of Health, under Award Number D43TW008332. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the ASCEND Program. The authors would also like to thank the Director of Health Malaysia for permission to publish this paper.


This study was supported by Seed Grant (MED2009-CM(SG)-004-QKF) funded by Monash University Malaysia.

Conflict of Interest

The authors—Amutha Ramadas, Quek Kia Fatt, Brian Oldenburg, Zanariah Hussein and Carina Ka Yee Chan—declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human Rights Statement

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 and 2008.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amutha Ramadas
    • 1
  • Carina Ka Yee Chan
    • 1
    • 4
  • Brian Oldenburg
    • 2
  • Zanariah Hussien
    • 3
  • Kia Fatt Quek
    • 1
  1. 1.Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health SciencesMonash University MalaysiaPetaling JayaMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of MedicineHospital PutrajayaPutrajayaMalaysia
  4. 4.Australian Catholic UniversitySydneyAustralia

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