Feasibility Study of Digital Photography and Group Discussion for People With Diabetes
Digital Photography and Group Discussion as a Means of Affecting Dietary Change Among People With Type 2 Diabetes: Feasibility Project
The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of food photography with group
discussions to the effect of regular diabetes nutrition care on people's eating habits,
satisfaction with care, self-care behaviors, and blood sugar levels. We hypothesize that, by
photographing all meals and snacks (i.e., keeping 'photo journals') and participating in
discussions about the photographs with peers and a nutritionist, people with diabetes will
become aware of their behaviors and develop concrete strategies to meet nutritional
Diet is critical to effective self-management of diabetes. Thus, people with diabetes
receive substantial nutrition counseling as part of their care. Among other things,
nutrition counseling can include nutrition facts, information about portions, menus,
discussion of barriers to healthy eating, and recommendations to control intake of saturated
fats, maintain consistent eating patterns, and distribute nutrient intake throughout the
day. Despite the depth and breadth of nutrition counseling, many people with diabetes
implement diet changes with limited success.
The overall objective of this study is to test the feasibility of a new approach to diabetes
nutrition care, digital food photography and facilitated group discussions. The overall
hypothesis regarding this new approach is that, by photographing all meals and snacks (i.e.,
keeping 'photo journals') and participating in discussions about the photographs with peers
and a nutritionist, people with diabetes will become aware of their behaviors and develop
concrete strategies to meet nutritional recommendations. This overall hypothesis can be
further specified as follows:
- People with diabetes who receive the new approach to diabetes nutrition care (i.e., the
digital photos with discussions) will show greater improvements in their nutritional
profiles and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values (primary clinical outcomes) than people who
receive standard diabetes nutrition care.
- People with diabetes who receive the new approach to diabetes nutrition care will
become more satisfied with their diabetes treatment compared to people who receive
standard care (secondary clinical outcome).
- People with diabetes who receive the new approach to diabetes nutrition care will show
greater improvements in minimizing the barriers that affect their abilities for
effective self-care compared to people who receive standard care (secondary outcome).
The study design is that of a single-site, randomized controlled trial with two groups of
approximately 18 study participants assigned to each (for a total of 36 study participants).
The study will take place at Joslin Diabetes Center. One group will receive standard
diabetes nutrition care. The other group will receive the new approach to diabetes nutrition
care involving digital photography of meals and group discussion of the photographs. All
participants will complete study questionnaires before the study begins and approximately 1
month after the completion of the digital photography discussion groups.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes, Nutrition, Digital photography, Self-management
Joslin Diabetes Center
Joslin Diabetes Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center