Association of sociodemographics, technology use and health literacy among type 2 diabetic individuals living in an Indian setting: an exploratory cross-sectional study
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Diabetes is a prevalent health problem in developing as well developed countries. Previous study advocates for diabetes self-management education (DSME) among diabetics. In this study, we have examined the association of sociodemographics and technology use with health literacy among type 2 diabetic individuals. This exploratory cross-sectional study was performed by enrolling a convenient sample of 100 type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. Individuals of age 18 years or above were enrolled during regular outpatient visit to the diabetic clinic of Saveetha Medical College in Chennai, a metropolitan city in southern state of India in August 2013. A modified version of previously validated questionnaires was used for gathering information on sociodemographic characteristics, technology use assessments, diabetes-related information, health literacy, and health information-seeking behavior. Results of the study showed that majority of the individuals had received some form of diabetes education from their doctor at the time of diagnosis. However, 56 % of the participants had difficulty (sometimes to always) in understanding the health information provided by the healthcare professional. Individuals who had access to computer and Internet at home or work required less support for reading instructions, pamphlets, or other written material from the doctor or pharmacy. Individuals having access to technology had higher health literacy as compared to individuals with no access. Technology can act as potential enabler for improving the health literacy. Future research is warranted to identify most cost-effective, feasible, and accessible technology medium for providing diabetes self-care management education.
KeywordsDiabetes Technology Health literacy Health information
We thank all the study participants. We acknowledge the assistance of diabetes clinic staff of Internal medicine outpatient department.
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Foundation of Healthcare Technologies Society, New Delhi (IRB#FHTS/012/2013), and conforms to the provisions of the Declaration of Helsinki (as revised in Tokyo 2004).
Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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