Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Background: Advancements in information technology (IT) and its increasingly ubiquitous nature expand the ability to engage patients in the health care process and motivate health behavior change.

Objective: Our aim was to systematically review the (1) impact of IT platforms used to promote patients’ engagement and to effect change in health behaviors and health outcomes, (2) behavior theories or models applied as bases for developing these interventions and their impact on health outcomes, (3) different ways of measuring health outcomes, (4) usability, feasibility, and acceptability of these technologies among patients, and (5) challenges and research directions for implementing IT platforms to meaningfully impact patient engagement and health outcomes.

Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar were searched for studies published from 2000 to December 2014. Two reviewers assessed the quality of the included papers, and potentially relevant studies were retrieved and assessed for eligibility based on predetermined inclusion criteria.

Results: A total of 170 articles met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed in detail. Overall, 88.8% (151/170) of studies showed positive impact on patient behavior and 82.9% (141/170) reported high levels of improvement in patient engagement. Only 47.1% (80/170) referenced specific behavior theories and only 33.5% (57/170) assessed the usability of IT platforms. The majority of studies used indirect ways to measure health outcomes (65.9%, 112/170).

Conclusions: In general, the review has shown that IT platforms can enhance patient engagement and improve health outcomes. Few studies addressed usability of these interventions, and the reason for not using specific behavior theories remains unclear. Further research is needed to clarify these important questions. In addition, an assessment of these types of interventions should be conducted based on a common framework using a large variety of measurements; these measurements should include those related to motivation for health behavior change, long-standing adherence, expenditure, satisfaction, and health outcomes.

Comments

This article was originally published in JMIR Medical Informatics, volume 4, issue 1, in 2016. DOI: 10.2196/medinform.4514

Copyright

The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

 
 

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