Primary studies that used some form of IT to support one or more tasks involved in the self-management of diabetes were eligible for inclusion. Self-management tasks were to be performed by the patient, with or without the intervention of a healthcare provider. Whilst the outcome of interest was not explicitly stated, it was clear that it was the improvement of self-management of diabetes.
Where stated, most studies included patients with Type 2 diabetes; other studies included patients with Type 1 diabetes, a combination of Type 1 and Type 2, or gestational diabetes. Most studies were in adults, where stated, but some were in children aged from 12 years old. The studies used the Internet (for example, visualising physiological and medical data), mobile phone (integrating glucometer with mobile device for automatic glucose level upload), decision support (providing real-time feedback for the physiological data entered) and telemedicine (video conferencing with clinicians) as their primary technology for the self-management of diabetes; some studies used a combination of these technologies. Most interventions involved two-way communication.
The authors independently assessed a random sample of 50 records identified from PubMed and 50 records identified from Web of Science and assessed the Joint Probability of Agreement, disagreements were resolved by discussion. The remaining articles were assessed by one of the authors.