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State of the Science: A Scoping Review and Gap Analysis of Diabetes Online Communities.

Authors
  • Litchman, Michelle L1, 2
  • Walker, Heather R3
  • Ng, Ashley H4
  • Wawrzynski, Sarah E1
  • Oser, Sean M5
  • Greenwood, Deborah A6
  • Gee, Perry M1, 7
  • Lackey, Mellanye8
  • Oser, Tamara K5
  • 1 1 College of Nursing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
  • 2 2 Utah Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
  • 3 3 College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • 4 4 Department of Dietetics, Nutrition and Sport, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 5 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.
  • 6 6 Deborah Greenwood Consulting, Granite Bay, CA, USA.
  • 7 7 Intermountain Healthcare, Nursing Research, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
  • 8 8 Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
May 01, 2019
Volume
13
Issue
3
Pages
466–492
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1932296819831042
PMID: 30854884
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Individuals with diabetes are using online resources to engage in diabetes online communities to find diabetes-related support and information. The benefits and consequences of DOC (diabetes online community) use are unclear. This scoping review aims to map existing research focused on organic DOCs in which individuals affected by diabetes are interacting with peers. A scoping review was conducted to comprehensively report and synthesize relevant literature published prior to 2018. Attention was paid to variations in study design, DOC user and platform characteristics, and potential or actual benefits and consequences. Of the 14 486 titles identified, 47 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in this scoping review. No overt definition of the DOC could be identified. Perceived or actual benefits associated with DOC use can be broadly categorized as clinical, behavioral, psychosocial and community outcomes. Perceived, potential, or actual consequences associated with DOC use were categorized as quality of information, risky behavior exploration, acute concerns, psychosocial, privacy, and inactivity. The results of this review strongly suggest DOC use is highly beneficial with relatively few negative consequences. DOC use is an emerging area of research and research gaps exist. Future research should seek to identify benefits and consequences to DOC use in experimental trials.

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