The Role of Online Communities in Diabetes Management

Using social networking to improve self-care and standards of care

Presented by Brenda Faith Bell
at the Trenton Computer Festival, April, 2009

One issue often overlooked in the psychological management of chronic diseases is the large component of patient-directed care -- a component that requires behavioral change, and which is often conducted in social isolation. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in modern society -- and one of the most isolating. Thousands of people with diabetes are dealing with these issues by joining diabetes-oriented social networks.

The presentation discussed the role of online communities and social networks as part of the informal social and psychological support network that is helping people with diabetes overcome feelings of social isolation and take a more proactive role in the management of their condition.

Go to the full PowerPoint presentation (some slides may have been skipped during the live presentation).

Check out the slides used for the poster presentation.

Explore diabetes-oriented online communities

Explore related online resources

Online Communities

The author is a member of these social communities

Other major diabetes-oriented online communities

Other Diabetes Online Communities

These communities came up during a search for "diabetes" on Ning and a search for "diabetes social networks" on Google


Internet-based resources and review articles discussing intervention methods.

While most of these discuss professional-based intervention, certain aspects apply to peer-based communities as well.

"Barriers to Effective Diabetes Care Revealed", Diabetes In Control, Issue 462, 3/31/2009.

"Lifestyle Program for Diabetics Improves Mind, Body and Wallet by 87%", Diabetes In Control, Issue 459, 3/10/2009.

"Internet Program Improves Diabetes Self-Care- Clinic Visits Not Sufficent", Diabetes In Control, Issue 459, 3/10/2009.

"DEPLOY: Intervention program decreased 10-year CHD risk for adults with prediabetes", Endocrine Today, posted 3/09/2009.

Center for Connected Health a program of Partners Health, an integrated healthcare system (integrating general, specialized, and online care)

Hernandez, Manny. "The Healing Effect of Social Networks", The Voice, Greater Bay Area, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Fall 2008.

Presentations and White Papers

Hernandez, Manny. "Healthcare Innovation Online" panel, Healthcare 2009 Conference, Yale University, 4/3/2009. Presenter comments available online.

Achieving Openness: The Art Of Listening, Learning amp; Communicating With People Using Social Networks For Health & Wellness, Envision Solutions, Inc.,

Health 2.0-related blogs

Pharma 2.0


Health Management Rx

The Health Engagement Blog

News Stories About Social Networking and Health

"Social networking sites changing the way people learn about health", The Lawrence Journal-World, 4/16/2009.

"Health 2.0: How far can interactive digital medicine go?", The Economist, 4/16/2009,

The Role of Online Communities in Diabetes Management. August 09, 2011.
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