Web-based resources can help management of type 2 diabetes.

Picture of a laptop with a stethoscope around it

This systematic review reports the findings from 12 different studies that evaluated a range of different web-based resources in caring for people with diabetes.

The reviewers report favourable results for approaches that employed goal-setting, personalised coaching, interactive feedback and online peer support.

However, we recommend looking under the bonnet of this review as we suspect that heterogeneity between studies may be a serious issue.  Whilst the findings appear consistent with other randomised trials and systematic reviews, there is evidence from other studies that some people benefit more than others from e-health interventions.

The search date for the review was June 2010.

Appraisal hints

Users of this research should consider:

  • Possible sources of bias in the individual studies, particularly from small sample size, selection procedures, duration and completeness of follow-up.
  • Whether the reviewers carried out blind, independent assessment of the quality of studies.
  • What where the specific interventions and how did they achieve a benefit?
  • What were the outcomes against which the interventions were evaluated?
  • The specific patient groups in whom the interventions were tested.


Ramadas A, Quek KF, Chan CK, Oldenburg B. Web-based interventions for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review of recent evidence. Int J Med Inform. 2011 Jun;80(6):389-405. Epub 2011 Apr 9.

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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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