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Weight loss and reversing T2D cost-effectively through eHealth coaching
Effectiveness of eHealth Lifestyle Coaching among Diabetes Patients in a Real-life Municipality Setting.
Anastasija Komkova1, MSc; Carl J. Brandt2, MD, PhD; Daniel Hansen3 ; Martha Emneus1, MSc; Camilla Sortsø1, PhD
1: Institute of Applied Economics and Health Research, Ewaldsgade 3, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
2: Research Unit of General Practice, Dept. of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, J.B. Winsløws Vej 9A, 5000 Odense C., Denmark
3: The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark
Background: Internet and mobile interventions aiming to promote healthy lifestyle have attracted much attention due to their scalability and accessibility, low costs, privacy and user-control, potential for use in real-life situations as well as opportunities for real time modifications and interactive advices. These eHealth interventions have proved effectiveness in pilot and smaller randomized controlled trial (RCT) projects. Hence we will look at a real-life eHealth lifestyle coaching intervention that was implemented in 8 Danish municipalities from the summer 2016.
Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of the eHealth intervention among diabetes patients in a real-life municipal setting.
Methods: An observational study examining the effect of the eHealth intervention on self-reported weight change among 103 obese diabetes patients, in a real-life municipal setting. The patients in the study have used the eHealth intervention from 3 to 12 months. The weight change has been observed at 6, 9 and 12 months periods. We have used OLS regression method to estimate the impacts of the intervention on weight change. We combine these results with literature findings regarding the impact of weight change on diabetes patients’ costs in a municipality perspective to estimate the potential savings in the societal costs of diabetes. The eHealth intervention is based on an initial meeting establishing a strong empathic relationship followed by digital communication, coaching and collaboration supported by an online community among patients.
Results: We found that the use of a collaborative eHealth tool significantly reduced weight among diabetes patients, on average 4.3% of the initial body mass, which corresponds to 4.8 kg over mean period of 7.3 months. The patients that have used the eHealth tool for over 9 months have achieved a weight reduction of 6.3% or 6.8 kg. The saving for the municipality is estimated to 2667€ per patient annually at an annual cost of 500€ per patient including the salary for the healthcare professional.
Conclusion: This study brings forward evidence of a positive effect of a real-life eHealth lifestyle intervention on diabetes patients in a municipal setting and establishes a framework for evaluation of similar interventions. Future research is needed to show if the effect is sustainable in a long-term perspective.
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