This study investigated the determinants (with a special emphasis on the role of diabetes app use, use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device, and self-care behavior) of glycemic control of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods:
A web-based survey was conducted using diabetes Facebook groups, online patient-forums, and targeted Facebook advertisements (ads). Demographic, CGM, diabetes app use, and self-care behavior data were collected. Glycemic level data were categorized into hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and good control. Multinomial logistic regression stratified by diabetes type was performed. Results:
The survey URL was posted in 78 Facebook groups and eight online forums, and ten targeted Facebook ads were conducted yielding 1854 responses. Of those owning smartphones (n
= 1753, 95%), 1052 (62.6%) had type 1 and 630 (37.4%) had type 2 DM. More than half of the type 1 respondents (n
= 549, 52.2%) and one third the respondents with type 2 DM (n
= 210, 33.3%) reported using diabetes apps. Increased odds of experiencing hyperglycemia were noted in persons with type 1 DM with lower educational status (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 1.7; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.21–2.39); smokers (1.63, 95% CI: 1.15–2.32), and high diabetes self-management concern (AOR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.15–2.32). CGM use (AOR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.44–1.00); “general diet” (AOR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.79–0.94); and “blood glucose monitoring” (AOR = 0.88, 95%CI: 0.80–0.97) self-care behavior reduced the odds of experiencing hyperglycemia. Hypoglycemia in type 1 DM was reduced by using CGM (AOR = 0.24, 95% CI: 0.09–0.60), while it was increased by experiencing a high diabetes self-management concern (AOR = 1.94, 95% CI: 1.04–3.61). Hyperglycemia in type 2 DM was increased by age (OR = 1.02, 95% CI: 1.00–1.04); high self-management concern (AOR = 2.59, 95% CI: 1.74–3.84); and poor confidence in self-management capacity (AOR = 3.22, 2.07–5.00). Conversely, diabetes app use (AOR = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.41–0.96) and “general diet” self-care (AOR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.75–0.94), were significantly associated with the reduced odds of hyperglycemia. Conclusion:
Diabetes apps, CGM, and educational interventions aimed at reducing self-management concerns and enhancing dietary self-care behavior and self-management confidence may help patients with diabetes to improve glycemic control.