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Family support-based intervention using a mobile application provided by pharmacists for older adults with diabetes to improve glycaemic control: a randomised controlled trial


Background Family support is crucial in the care of older patients with diabetes. However, more information is needed to evaluate the potential benefits of family-based intervention through a mobile application by pharmacists in the older diabetes patients. Aim To evaluate the effectiveness of family support-based intervention via a mobile application by pharmacists on clinical outcomes, family behaviour, diabetes knowledge, self-management practices and medication adherence in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Method A randomised controlled trial was conducted in a hospital in the south of Thailand with 9 months of follow-up. Family members in the intervention group (n = 78) received diabetes educational courses and encouragement via a mobile application from pharmacists to help their older relatives with diabetes in self-management tasks. The control group received usual care (n = 79). Results As compared to baseline, significant improvements were observed in the intervention patients for glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure, family behaviour in diabetes care, diabetes knowledge, self-management practices and medication adherence (P < 0.001). The intervention group showed greater decline in HbA1c levels relative to the control group (− 0.97% vs. − 0.12%; P = 0.001). Significant differences between groups for changes in blood pressure levels including scores of family behaviour, diabetes knowledge, self-management and medication adherence were found (P ≤ 0.001), with the intervention group showing greater improvement. Conclusion Family support intervention via a mobile application by pharmacists is beneficial to diabetes care for older adults.

Trial registration number: TCTR20200615001 (date 13 June 2020, retrospectively registered).

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The authors are grateful to all participants and their family members for contribution in this study. We would like to acknowledge Prof. Dr. Deborah J. Toobert, Prof. Dr. Russell E. Glasgow and Prof. Dr. Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit for granting the permission to use their instruments. We also acknowledge Dr. Alan Geater for editorial assistance with the manuscript.


This study was supported by Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand (Grant Number PHA6104057S).

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Correspondence to Woranuch Saengcharoen.

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Poonprapai, P., Lerkiatbundit, S. & Saengcharoen, W. Family support-based intervention using a mobile application provided by pharmacists for older adults with diabetes to improve glycaemic control: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Clin Pharm 44, 680–688 (2022).

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  • Diabetes
  • Family support
  • Mobile application
  • Older adults
  • Pharmacists
  • Thailand