INTRODUCTION: Online web-based interventions can be effective ancillary tools for managing diabetes. There is a high prevalence of diabetes in New Zealand Maori, and yet this group has generally been a low priority for web-based interventions due to perceptions of low Internet access and Internet literacy.
AIM: To assess Internet access and literacy in New Zealanders with diabetes, especially high-risk Maori.
METHODS: A telephone survey of all patients with diabetes in an urban general practice. Internet access is assessed by Internet presence in the home, and Internet literacy by the ability to use email and the World Wide Web.
RESULTS: One hundred percent response rate with 68 participants, including 38% Maori. Internet access for Maori was 70% and Internet literacy 41%.
DISCUSSION: Internet access and literacy for Maori with diabetes may be higher than previously thought. Health policies may wish to focus effective and cost-efficient web-based interventions on this high diabetes risk group.