How ePRO Can Create a Holistic View of Diabetes Management

Diabetes is a complex condition that is influenced by environmental, social, behavioral, and emotional elements. These psychosocial factors can make it difficult to improve both physical health and psychological wellbeing. People living with diabetes regularly require customized, multifaceted self-management support to encourage achieving personal health goals. Self-management is the cornerstone of diabetes care, and patients are encouraged to exercise, adhere to medication regimen, and define and monitor their own goals.

The challenge with self-management is that it can be difficult for doctors and researchers to measure and track. To help, researchers are increasingly turning to electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO), a promising tool to collect information directly from the patient and help monitor self-management in clinical trials. For diabetes management to be effective, it is recommended that the care given is individualized to each patient based on a regular assessment of their diabetes knowledge and behavior. To optimize medical outcomes and psychological well-being, patient-centered care is indispensable. According to Young-Hyman (2016), personalized, patient-centered psychosocial care necessitates that correspondences and treatment administrations consider the context of the individual with diabetes and their values, environment, attitude, and preferences. With ePRO, researchers and doctors can collect information in a way that patients feel comfortable with and can update throughout their day.

Through mobile-based ePRO like Teamscope, providers and patients can communicate beyond routine office visits. Doctors can collect information from patients on self-care actions and other self-assessments like glucose levels, weight and diet and also send patients reminders and education to support self-management.

In addition to ePRO, resources such as electronic health records, together with biomarkers like HBA1c encourage healthcare providers’ to distinguish and remediate psychosocial issues that block routine regimen implementation. This provides a holistic understanding of the clinical and psychosocial effect of diabetes and its treatment (Reaney, M. et al.2016)

Another benefit of using ePRO is that researchers are assured the data is collected at the point of experience, reducing variance in the data. One study that successfully used ePRO to this end was the PANORAMA Multinational Study of People With Type 2 Diabetes. The study provided an overview across nine countries using five validated electronic patient-reported outcome measures (ePROMs) that are widely used in diabetes. Data collected included quality of life (QoL), treatment satisfaction, and other patient-reported diabetes dependent measures. Simultaneous collection of these patient-reported outcomes and clinical data allowed exploratory analyses to identify predictors of outcomes that matter to patients. The PANORAMA study demonstrated the importance of appreciating the health status, and patient-reported outcomes measures and interpreting them appropriately. Genuine measures of diabetes-dependent quality of life are needed, perhaps alongside other PROMs, when evaluating and choosing between diabetes treatments if we are to protect QoL, increase treatment adherence, and thereby improve glycemic control in the long run.

When recording patient data in diabetes, a well-designed, user-friendly and a comprehensively tested electronic PRO solution can reduce burden and increase patient satisfaction. ePRO also decreases data errors, and since the information can be entered in real time, it provides accurate time-stamped information and allows real-time monitoring of the patient and quicker insights from the doctor. This, in turn, enhances compliance, data quality, and overall treatment efficiency. More than paper forms or in-person visits, using ePRO can give researchers and healthcare providers a comprehensive view of the diabetes patient experience.

Deborah Maufi MD, MBA is a Content Marketer at Teamscope. She's a non-typical medical doctor and an above average board game fanatic.
Teamscope is an Electronic Data Capture (EDC) app for clinical studies.