Background: Mobile health (mHealth) has continuously been used as a method in behavioral research to improve self-management in patients with chronic diseases. However, the evidence of its effectiveness in chronic disease management in the adult population is still lacking. We conducted a systematic review to examine the effectiveness of mHealth interventions on process measures as well as health outcomes in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to improve chronic disease management. Methods: Relevant randomized controlled studies that were published between January 2005 and March 2016 were searched in six databases: PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. The inclusion criteria were RCTs that conducted an intervention using mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets for adult patients with chronic diseases to examine disease management or health promotion. Results: Of the 12 RCTs reviewed, 10 of the mHealth interventions demonstrated statistically significant improvement in some health outcomes. The most common features of mHealth systems used in the reviewed RCTs were real-time or regular basis symptom assessments, pre-programed reminders, or feedbacks tailored specifically to the data provided by participants via mHealth devices. Most studies developed their own mHealth systems including mobile apps. Training of mHealth systems was provided to participants in person or through paper-based instructions. None of the studies reported the relationship between health outcomes and patient engagement levels on the mHealth system. Conclusions: Findings from mHealth intervention studies for chronic disease management have shown promising aspects, particularly in improving self-management and some health outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Health Informatics