Although medication and cures for chronic health issues are abundant and available to the general public, there is one other thing that, if performed, can help save lots of lives.
Something as simple as a text!
According to the reports from the WHO, high blood sugar levels are a serious contributor to kidney diseases, heart diseases, and strokes. Cardiovascular diseases, on the other hand, are one of the significant causes of death in the worldwide population.
However, a study found that a series of simple motivational text messages can boost blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The study enlisted 502 patients, split into two groups
Research in China, performed on the groups of patients with coronary diseases and diabetes, shows that a simple motivational text could improve blood sugar levels.
As published in the Journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, the solution is efficient and convenient as it requires no huge investment.
The trial performed by the researchers included 502 patients from 34 hospitals in China, participants split into two groups. The control group received only two texts per month, thanking them for participating in the study. Whereas, the intervention group received six motivational texts per week.
The intervention group showed significant progress in lowered blood sugar levels after six months of receiving motivational texts.
The motivational texts sent to the patients include recommendations about lifestyle choices, reminders for medication, and general inspiration to keep holding on and believing in themselves.
To make sure that the study did not have any bias or irrelevant factors, the participants were categorized based on a similar body mass index, similar cholesterol levels, and systolic blood pressure.
To gauge results, scientists measured the HbA1c levels of the patients. The group which received motivational messages showed a decrease of 0.2% in HbA1c levels while the control group showed an increase of 0.1%.
Doctors suggest that HbA1c must be less than 7% to prevent diabetes and control diabetic complications.
Researchers also observed more significant changes in fasting blood sugar levels of the intervention group (-0.5 mmol/L) as compared to the control group (0.1 mmol/L).
An Effective Solution
“The Chinese population prefers direct attention and structured instructions rather than insight-oriented approaches. Motivational text messages were practical based on real-life examples, instructing them about complications and the seriousness of the issue. The texts, therefore, gave the people some direction and a permanent partner to help them through this journey of cure,” explained study author, Dr. Xiqian Hou, from Beijing’s Fuwai hospital.
The greatest takeaway from this study is that the people who received motivational messages could tell that they felt uplifted and more in control. Almost 97% agreed that the texts were helpful in their routines as they remained more aware of the risks and received a regular reminder to exercise, stay fit, take medications, and be brave.
“The motivational messages were aimed to provide motivation and information to help (patients) set goals and relieve stress,” adds Dr. Huo.
Some of the examples of those motivational text messages are:
- “Diabetes is not terrible, and there are many things you can do to prevent problems from diabetes, such as monitoring blood glucose, watching your diet, keeping fit, and taking pills regularly.”
- “Afraid of testing blood glucose because it hurts? Try to test on the sides of your fingertips or rotate your fingers, which can help to minimize pain.”
- “Try brisk walking—a convenient, safe, and cost-effective way of exercising! It’s good for your heart and will help control blood glucose.”
“The results of this study were not only statistically significant, but they also are clinically relevant. These messages have the potential to reduce the risk of diabetes complications and death,” explains Dr. Huo.
The idea of sending motivational texts is a great way to help patients prevent diabetic problems at a minimal cost.