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Women in Control: A Virtual World Study of Diabetes Self-Management

June 28, 2019


This study compares the effectiveness of a diabetes self management (DSM) group medical visit in the virtual world (Second life) to a face-to-face format. The comparison attempts to increase physical activity and improve glucose control among Black and Hispanic women with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.


Study Information

This is a randomized, controlled trial of how effective a virtual world group medical visit is vs. a face-to-face group visit format to increase physical activity and improve glucose control among Black/African American and Hispanic women with uncontrolled diabetes. There will be a six month follow up, and they will conduct a study of participant engagement with the virtual world platform during the virtual world group sessions, between group sessions, and following completion of the eight-week curriculum.


Inclusion Criteria

  • Female
  • Ages 18+
  • Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (documented in the medical chart)
  • Last recorded HbA1c >8.0
  • Currently treated with diet, oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin
  • Black/African American or Hispanic/Latina origin
  • Has telephone access
  • Able to understand and participate in study protocol
  • Functionally capable of meeting the activity goals
  • Understand and give informed consent
  • Physician approval to participate in study
  • Can communicate in English or Spanish


Exclusion Criteria

  • History of diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Currently or planning pregnancy
  • Unable or unwilling to provide informed consent
  • Plans to leave area within 6 month study period that would interfere with ability to attend 8 weekly sessions and/or 6 month follow up
  • Required intermittent glucocorticoid therapy within past 3 months.
  • Experienced acute coronary event (myocardial infarction or unstable angina) within previous 6 months
    Medical condition that precludes adherence to study dietary recommendations (i.e. Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, etc)
  • Medical or serious psychiatric illness (dementia, suicidal within last 5 months, psychiatric hospitalization). Those with diagnosis of depression or who take antidepressants are eligible.



Boston, MA

Contact Suzanne E Mitchell, MD, MS at



Boston Medical Center
University of Massachusetts, Worcester
Boston University College of Health and
Rehabilitation Sciences
Boston University

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