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Use of Online Communities among People with Type 2 Diabetes: A Scoping Review.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: People with diabetes require continuous self-monitoring and face numerous decisions in their day-to-day lives. Therefore, on many occasions, they need more support than that provided by health professionals. In this context, peer support in online diabetes communities could be a useful tool. The purpose of the review is to describe, analyze and synthesize the available evidence on the use and health out-comes of online communities for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A scoping review was conducted in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines. Searches were performed PubMed, Web of Science, CINHAL, Scopus and Cochrane databases.

RECENT FINDINGS: From 1821 identified documents, 6 articles were included. These studies explored the characteristics of diabetes online communities and the population features. Besides, the results were classified according to whether they were clinical, psychosocial, or addressed people's experiences with the online community. The analysis underscores their value in facilitating communication, improving diabetes management, and enhancing psychosocial well-being. Future investigations should prioritize longitudinal assessments to elucidate the sustained impact of community engagement and optimize user participation for enhanced patient outcomes. The growing relevance of new technologies has led to a significant number of individuals with chronic illnesses seeking peer support. Online health communities have emerged as virtual spaces where individuals with shared health interests interact and form relationships. Within these digital spaces, individuals can engage in peer interaction, observe behaviors, and mutually benefit, potentially leading to improved attitudes toward the disease.

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