Background: Military dependents and veterans have obesity, prediabetes and diabetes rates similar to the general U.S. population. This project examined the attitudes of patients with prediabetes and diabetes regarding weight loss and the use of technology in weight management.
Method: A survey was distributed to three primary care clinics and a diabetes specialty care clinic in the San Antonio Military Health System (SAMHS) over a two week period in February 2017. Demographics included age, sex, and presence of medical diagnoses including prediabetes and diabetes. Access to and attitudes regarding multiple types of personal technology were assessed. Data analysis was completed using SPSS version 22.
Results: There were 424 surveys collected. Prediabetes was self-reported by 25 (6.6%) respondents and 151 (39.6%) respondents self-reported a diabetes diagnosis. Interest in weight loss was high for patients with prediabetes (100%) and diabetes (73.5%); of those with diabetes that also self-identified as obese, 50 (96%) were interested in losing weight. Patients with prediabetes and diabetes were interested in using fitness trackers (65.5%), online videos (57.1%), receiving text messages (53.9%), fitness apps (53.3%), and the existing patient online portal (52.1%). Access to technology was high; many patients owned a personal computer or tablet (76.6%), used text messaging (75%), or owned a smart phone (64.5%). A majority (59.7%) believed technology was helpful for weight loss, but relatively few had used technology in past weight loss efforts (32.4%).
Conclusions: This survey showed that SAMHS patients with prediabetes and diabetes have significant interest in weight loss, access to personal technology devices, and interest in using technology to assist with weight loss. These results will be used to augment existing weight management and health interventions for people with prediabetes and diabetes.
A. Beauvais: None. J.L. Wardian: None. T.J. Sauerwein: Speaker's Bureau; Self; Merck & Co., Inc., AstraZeneca.