Enablers and barriers to using two-way information technology in the management of adults with diabetes: A descriptive systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • Background This systematic review aimed to explore the enablers and barriers faced by adults with diabetes using two-way information communication technologies to support diabetes self-management. Methods Relevant literature was obtained from five databases using search strategies combining four major constructs: adults with diabetes, biomedical technology, communication technology and patient utilisation. Results Of 8430 unique articles identified, 48 were included for review. Risk of bias was assessed using either the Newcastle-Ottowa or Cochrane risk of bias assessment tools. Seventy-one percent of studies were of cohort design with the majority of studies assessed at high or unclear risk of bias. Consistently identified barriers included poorly designed interfaces requiring manual data entry and systems that lacked functionalities valued by patients. Commonly cited enablers included access to reliable technology, highly automated data entry and transmission, graphical display of data with immediate feedback, and supportive health care professionals and family members. Conclusions People with diabetes face a number of potentially modifiable barriers in using technology to support their diabetes management. In order to address these barriers, end users should be consulted in the design process and consideration given to theories of technology adoption to inform design and implementation. Systems should be designed to solve clinical or behavioural problems that are identified by patients as priorities. Technology should be as automated, streamlined, mobile, low cost and integrated as possible in order to limit the burden of usage for the patient and maximise clinical usefulness.

publication date

  • 2018