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Mobile Technology Interventions for Asthma Self-Management: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Miller (2017)
Summary by 

Mobile technology interventions (MTI) are becoming increasingly popular in the management of chronic health behaviors. Most MTI allow individuals to monitor medication use, record symptoms, or store and activate disease-management action plans. Therefore, MTI may have the potential to improve low adherence to medication and action plans for individuals with asthma, which is associated with poor clinical outcomes. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of MTI on clinical outcomes as well as adherence in individuals with asthma. As the use of evidence-based behavior change techniques (BCT) has been shown to improve intervention effects, we also conducted exploratory analyses to determine the role of BCT and engagement with MTI as moderators of MTI efficacy. We searched electronic databases for randomized controlled trials up until June 2016. Random effect models were used to assess the effect of MTI on clinical outcomes as well as adherence to preventer medication or symptom monitoring. Mixed effects models assessed whether the features of the MTI (ie, use of BCT) and how often a person engaged with MTI moderated the effects of MTI. The literature search located 11 studies meeting the inclusion criteria, with 9 providing satisfactory data for meta-analysis. Compared with standard treatment, MTI had moderate to large effect sizes (Hedges g) on medication adherence and clinical outcomes. MTI had no additional effects on adherence or clinical outcomes when compared with paper-based monitoring. No moderator effects were found, and the number of studies was small. A narrative review of the two studies, which are not included in the meta-analysis, found similar results. This review indicated the efficacy of MTI for self-management in individuals with asthma and also indicated that MTI appears to be as efficacious as paper-based monitoring. This review also suggested a need for robust studies to examine the effects of BCT use and engagement on MTI efficacy to inform the evidence base for MTI in individuals with asthma.