E.C.S. is currently affiliated with Scripps Health, San Diego, CA

Comorbid symptoms such as post-traumatic stress and pain are common barriers to optimal self-management among veterans with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, self-management behaviors occur in the context of veterans’ daily routines and social environments. This study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) among veterans with type 2 diabetes. Ten veterans with type 2 diabetes were asked to respond to random EMA surveys during preprogrammed intervals five times per day for 14 days. EMA surveys were delivered via a mobile application and assessed momentary physical location, activities, social interactions, mood, stress, and pain. The last survey of each day included additional items about daily post-traumatic stress symptoms, diabetes distress, social support, physical activity, self-management behaviors, and functioning. Participants completed interviews assessing their experience in the study and barriers to responding and indicated their likelihood of participating in similar studies. The mean survey response rate was 96%, providing 675 observations. The majority of participants completed the five momentary surveys in <1 minute and the daily EMA surveys in <5 minutes. Results revealed substantial individual day-to-day variability across symptoms and self-management behaviors that is not captured by aggregated means across all participants. Participants generally reported enjoying responding to surveys and experiencing few barriers. Nine of 10 participants reported being “extremely likely” to participate in a similar study. These pilot data suggest that intensive EMA designs are feasible and acceptable for veterans with type 2 diabetes and can inform the design of future larger studies.

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