Objective: To characterize diabetes patient engagement and clinician notifications for an mHealth interactive voice response (IVR) service.
Design: Observational study.
Methods: For three to six months, VA patients with diabetes received weekly IVR calls assessing health status and self-care along with tailored education. Patients could enroll with an informal caregiver who received suggestions on self-management support. Notifications were issued to clinicians when patients reported significant problems.
Results: Patients (n = 303) participated for a total of 5684 patient-weeks, during which 84% of calls were completed. The odds of call completion decreased over time (AOR = 0.96, p < 0.001), and were lower among unmarried patients (AOR = 0.67, p = 0.038) and those who had difficulties with health literacy (AOR = 0.67, p = 0.039), diabetes-related distress (AOR = 0.30, p = 0.018), or medication nonadherence (AOR = 0.57, p = 0.002). Twenty-one clinician notifications were triggered per 100 patient-weeks. The odds of notification were higher during the early weeks of the program (AOR = 0.95, p < 0.001) and among patients who were older (AOR = 1.03, p = 0.004) or more physically impaired (AOR = 0.97, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: By providing information that is reliable, valid, and actionable, IVR-based mHealth services may increase access to between-visit monitoring and diabetes self-management support. The system detects abnormal glycemia and blood pressure levels that might otherwise go unreported, although thresholds for clinician notifications might require adjustment to avoid overloading clinicians. Patient engagement might be enhanced by addressing health literacy and psychological distress. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.