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My name is Michelle Litchman. I am a doctoral student at the University of Utah College of Nursing. For my dissertation research I am examining online peer-to-peer health among individuals with diabetes. I am interested in knowing the relationship between the intensity to which someone is involved with TuDiabetes and their health. Currently, there is very little research about the Diabetes Online Community and peer-to-peer health.

I will be gathering data through a confidential survey that can be accessed online. The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. Please link to the survey here. I will donate $2, up to $1000 maximum, to the Diabetes Hands Foundation for every survey that is completed.

Once the data has been analyzed, I will follow-up with the TuDiabetes community to share my findings. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Best Regards,

Michelle Litchman, MS, FNP-BC
University of Utah PhD Student

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Hi Stuart,
Thanks for reaching out. No, I have not yet collected enough data needed for robust statistical analysis. I need about 250 more survey responses. I am working with IRB to be able to include other DOC sites. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Michelle Litchman
PhD Student

Thank you to everyone who participated in this study. I am scheduled to defend my dissertation on January 5th and will be sharing the results in a live interview with Mike Lawson early next year. I have written three manuscripts based on the results from this study and am pleased to announce that the first paper will be presented at Medicine 2.0 in the upcoming weeks. You can find a link to the abstract here:

Thank you again for your help with this important study on the DOC!
Michelle Litchman
University of Utah

Congratulations Michelle and best wishes defending. I am looking forward to your live interview with Mike.

Wow, I didn't realize until I read back through the thread that the original post was from 2012!! It's neat to see something run through to it's conclusion. I guess the conclusions are not totally surprising but the "DOC members are often not informing their health care provider about their participation with the DOC suggesting that health care providers should be familiar with the DOC" bit is particularly interesting. I've mentioned "I hang out online" to doctors before and get a sort of blank expression on their faces. I haven't met with a CDE since 2008 (and, before that, since 1984...eek) so maybe that sort of appointment would be chattier and afford some opportunity to talk about it but the way the abstract reads, it sounds as if "we" are hiding it but, to me, it's more like medical providers don't understand the depth of some of the dialogues in which we participate. Still, the overall conclusions of the survey are interesting. I wonder what can be done to draw more folks into participating without as much of the "my A1C is _____" antlers, of which I suppose I'm guilty. Thanks for sharing your work Michelle and I hope I can make it to your presentation here!!

Kudos to you for being a pioneer in examining the connection between DOC involvement and outcomes. Obviously the surface has barely been scratched; this subject fairly cries out for more in-depth study. My personal hunch is that the correlation will prove to be strong, but a hunch is just that -- an unsubstantiated belief. As a relentless empiricist, my mantra is always "show me the data!"

As someone else commented, it's interesting that so many DOC habitués don't let their health care teams know about their participation. I'm afraid I probably tell my doctor about it to the point of boredom. :-)

Another thing I would like to know is just how broad and deep the health care profession's antipathy to the very idea of the DOC really is. I've heard many anecdotes suggesting that this prejudice is widespread, but as someone said, the plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".




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