Engagement in Diabetes Online Communities (DOCs) and diabetes online resources have proven benefits, including improved psychosocial, behavioral and clinical outcomes. However, patients report that finding credible and relevant information can be daunting. The aim of this study was to co-design an intervention with people with diabetes (PWD) to train “Peer Connectors” to help adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes navigate DOCs and diabetes online resources to improve social support.

A community advisory board (CAB) of 11 diverse (race, ethnicity, age, diabetes type, diabetes duration) PWD who were active in a variety of DOCs convened over four 2-hour meetings to discuss and prioritize intervention components and outcome measures. Field notes and audio recordings were analyzed to guide development of the D-COPES (Diabetes - Connecting Online Peers to Enhance Support) intervention.

The CAB recommended three intervention components: 1) pairing participants to trained Peer Connectors based on matching characteristics/interests, (2) Peer Connectors delivering a small group intervention to orient participants to DOCs and online resources, and (3) Intervention content that includes tailoring to participants’ individual needs and how to identify misinformation. Recommended outcome measures focused on psychosocial (diabetes distress, empowerment), behavioral (self-efficacy, self-care), and clinical outcomes (A1C as secondary outcome), as well as usage of DOCs and online resources.

The co-design process centered the D-COPES intervention on avoidance of misinformation and provided strategies to expand the benefits of DOCs to PWD who might not otherwise have the knowledge and skills to engage most effectively. Co-design also served as a form of social validation, ensuring the intervention itself would be of interest and socially relevant to PWD. The D-COPES intervention will be iteratively piloted with 12 participants over 12 weeks.


M. L. Litchman: Research Support; Self; Abbott Diabetes. T. Oser: Advisory Panel; Self; Cecelia Health, Dexcom, Inc., Advisory Panel; Spouse/Partner; Cecelia Health, Dexcom, Inc. C. Shockley: None. E. Grigorian: None. H. R. Walker: None. E. Wilson: None. A. Thompson: None. J. E. Blanchette: Board Member; Self; JDRF, Consultant; Self; Insulet Corporation, Other Relationship; Self; Insulet Corporation, Tandem Diabetes Care, Research Support; Self; Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. C. Rice: None. M. E. Hilliard: None.


Dick and Timmy Burton Foundation

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