"The quote that was used was appropriate that to the best of my
knowledge, at this time, there is no published evidence that online
social networking improves outcomes in those with diabetes. That was
based on my last literature review done shortly before the interview
with Lauren Silverman from NPR back in October. One of the focuses she
wanted to get across was big pharma influence on diabetes social
networking sites, which I agree with occurs (the papers published on
diabetes social networking clearly identify this occurring).
"With that said, the hypothesis going into my study, which Lauren did not focus on for her story, is that online social networking works.
In fact the design of my study is to answer the question “which type of
person does it work best for” and NOT “does it work” (though the latter
should come out in the analysis). We will try and determine, based on
someone’s PAM score (patient activation measure-a variable that can tell
how confident someone is about their condition), how well does
knowledge and attitudes change over the course of the study after 6
months of exposure to a closed diabetes social networking site (which
eliminates outside influences/3rd party solicitations identified by Lauren).
Hope this helps, and certainly hope I didn’t alienate any of your
community. My goal is to publish something where there is a current gap
in the medical literature."
- Dr. Jason Bronner