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Mobile Health Self-management Support for Spinal Cord Injury: Systematic Literature Review

HumanInsight Mobile Health Self-management Support for Spinal Cord Injury: Systematic Literature Review

JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2023 Apr 26;11:e42679. doi: 10.2196/42679.


BACKGROUND: Self-management plays a critical role in maintaining and improving the health of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Despite their potential, existing mobile health (mHealth) self-management support (SMS) tools for SCI have not been comprehensively described in terms of their characteristics and approaches. It is important to have an overview of these tools to know how best to select, further develop, and improve them.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this systematic literature review was to identify mHealth SMS tools for SCI and summarize their characteristics and approaches to offering SMS.

METHODS: A systematic review of the literature published between January 2010 and March 2022 was conducted across 8 bibliographic databases. The data synthesis was guided by the self-management task taxonomy by Corbin and Strauss, the self-management skill taxonomy by Lorig and Holman, and the Practical Reviews in Self-Management Support taxonomy. The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) standards guided the reporting.

RESULTS: A total of 24 publications reporting on 19 mHealth SMS tools for SCI were included. These tools were introduced from 2015 onward and used various mHealth technologies and multimedia formats to provide SMS using 9 methods identified by the Practical Reviews in Self-Management Support taxonomy (eg, social support and lifestyle advice and support). The identified tools focused on common SCI self-management areas (eg, bowel, bladder, and pain management) and overlooked areas such as sexual dysfunction problems and environmental problems, including barriers in the built environment. Most tools (12/19, 63%) unexpectedly supported a single self-management task instead of all 3 tasks (ie, medical, role, and emotional management), and emotional management tasks had very little support. All self-management skills (eg, problem-solving, decision-making, and action planning) had coverage, but a single tool addressed resource use. The identified mHealth SMS tools were similar in terms of number, introduction period, geographical distribution, and technical sophistication compared with SMS tools for other chronic conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: This systematic literature review provides one of the first descriptions of mHealth SMS tools for SCI in terms of their characteristics and approaches to offering SMS. This study's findings highlight a need for increased coverage of key SMS for SCI components; adopting comparable usability, user experience, and accessibility evaluation methods; and related research to provide more detailed reporting. Future research should consider other data sources such as app stores and technology-centric bibliographic databases to complement this compilation by identifying other possibly overlooked mHealth SMS tools. A consideration of this study's findings is expected to support the selection, development, and improvement of mHealth SMS tools for SCI.

PMID:37099372 | DOI:10.2196/42679

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