The diabetes epidemic is a growing challenge for the Australian health care system with over 1 million Australians living with diabetes. The impact on individuals' lives and the whole of Australian society is very substantial indeed. There is very good evidence that this impact would be reduced by developing new approaches to manage the disease and facilitate improved self- management. Recent developments in information and communications technologies offer some promising new ways and tools for achieving this. This research will evaluate a computer-controlled, interactive telephone system for improving the management and self-management of Type 2 diabetes in addition to routine care. Patients with Type 2 diabetes will be recruited from Brisbane and each patient will be randomly assigned to receive either this new program or just their usual care from their doctor or Diabetes Clinic. The first group will call the system weekly for six months using a regular phone or a mobile phone if they wish. During the call, they will answer questions by speaking into the phone, listen to feedback and strategies for improving management of their diabetes and then discuss their next targets and behavioural actions. They will receive systematic and tailored advice on blood glucose testing, nutrition and physical activity, as well as medication taking and foot care. The system individualises conversations according to the user s answers and responses over all the interactive sessions. The trial will formally evaluate the clinical impact on blood glucose control and the adoption and maintenance of the targeted health habits, as well as the intervention s cost-effectiveness and users satisfaction with the system. This project s significance lies in the excellent potential of using this new technology to provide a 'low cost' but effective program to help people better manage Type 2 diabetes.
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