Mobile phone usage among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in an urban sub-center in India: a cross sectional study

Reni Philip, Farah Naaz Fathima, Twinkle Agarwal, Aman Andews


Background: Diabetes education enables patients to be more involved in their care and helps in delaying complications. Mobile phone penetration in rural India is high and provides us with an opportunity to use mobile phones in delivering diabetes education messages. So the objective of the study is to study mobile phone usage among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in an urban sub-center.

Methods: A list of all the patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus was obtained from the health management information system records of the rural health and center and structured interview schedule was administered. Universal sampling method was used.

Results: Around half of the diabetic patients included in the study (55.6%) owned a personal mobile phone, 44.4% had access to a smart phone in the household and 35.4% had internet connectivity on their phone. Predominant mobile phone usages included making phone calls (54.4%), short messaging services (44.8%), listening to music (17.6), wake up alarm (14.4%) and capturing photos/videos (12.8%). Very few participants reported using mobile phone for health-related purposes (12.8%) and usage of health-related apps (10%). A large proportion of participant reported that they would like to receive reminders for clinic visits (54.0%), set alarms as reminders to improve adherence to medication (53.6). Chi-square test was used to find associations.

Conclusions:Two-thirds of the patients with known diabetes have access to a mobile phone at the household level. Mobile phones have potential application to be used as channel for health education, reminders for clinic visits and to improve adherence to medication among patients with diabetes in urban India.



Mobile phone, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Urban health

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