Combining mHealth and health-coaching for improving self-management in chronic care: A scoping review

Louise Faurholt Obro*, Kasper Heiselberg, Peter Gall Krogh, Charlotte Handberg, Jette Ammentorp, Gitte Thybo Pihl, Palle Jörn Sloth Osther

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Self-management approaches are widely used to improve chronic care. In this context, health care professionals call for efficient tools to engage patients in managing their illness. Mobile health (mHealth), defined by WHO as medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, is demonstrated to enhance self-management and health-coaching as an engaging tool in supporting behaviour change. Nevertheless, it is unclear how health-coaching and mHealth can benefit from each other.

OBJECTIVE: We conducted a scoping review to provide a literature-overview and identify any existing gaps in knowledge of mHealth in combination with health-coaching interventions for improving self-management in patients with chronic diseases.

PATIENT INVOLVEMENT: No patients were involved in the review process.

METHODS: The five-stage framework by Arksey and O'Malley was used. The review surveys; PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, and PsycInfo. Two independent reviewers performed review selection and characterization.

RESULTS: The review points at two approaches; (i) coaching used to support mHealth and (ii) mHealth as support for coaching. The findings suggest that patients prefer physical interactions to telecommunication. mHealth was primarily used to facilitate telecommunication and to monitor disease aspects.

DISCUSSION: We found that mHealth and health-coaching interventions benefit from each other. The review report on a considerable unclarity in the coaching-methods and that the patients were more satisfied with physical interactions than mHealth. We suggest to prioritize human contact and to explore more personalized health technology.

PRACTICAL VALUE: This scoping review can provide a framework for researchers and care providers to support discussion and introduction of new approaches and technology in self-management for patients with chronic diseases, thereby improving patients' quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Pages (from-to)680-688
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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