The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and suboptimal glycaemic control in Kuwait requires novel, wide-reaching, low-cost interventions to motivate and mobilise individuals towards more effective self-management. More than 2 million people in Kuwait own mobile phones. We will test whether automated personalised health text messages based on principles of motivational interviewing and are responsive to biodata delivered remotely is potentially effective in improving glycaemic control compared to usual care.
This is a two-arm parallel single-blind randomised controlled trial of 572 individuals with type 2 diabetes in Kuwait. We will develop a culturally appropriate database of text messages supporting positive lifestyle changes in type 2 diabetes. A computer programme will deliver over 400 text messages over a 12-month period using algorithms which provide participants with information on diet and physical activity as well as personalised messages regarding motivators to change behaviours. Individuals aged 18–75 years with established type 2 diabetes who are fluent in Arabic or English and officially resident in Kuwait will be identified via screening of hospital diabetes clinic and primary care practices and invited to participate. A sample of 572 participants will be randomised to usual care or usual care plus the DATES text message intervention. Randomisation will be conducted by an independent Clinical Trials Unit and researchers collecting baseline and outcome data will be blinded to treatment allocation. The primary outcome is change in HbA1c and weight at 12 months in both study arms. Secondary outcomes will include changes in physical activity, fasting lipids and quality of life in both study arms.
The potential of mobile phones in improving diabetes self-care in settings with a high prevalence of diabetes and widespread mobile phone usage has face validity. Mobile phones and text messaging are an understudied virtual communication media which can deliver discrete focused psychological support to motivate and enable diabetes self-care changes.