Can e-health technologies improve adherence to treatment for patients with lung diseases?

The VU University of Amsterdam is conducting a systematic literature review concerning the question of whether E-health technologies can improve adherence to treatment for patients with lung diseases. Specifically, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and obstructive sleep apnea. The review is commissioned by the Dutch National Healthcare Institute.

Appropriate healthcare
In 2013, the Dutch National Healthcare Institute started a program which is about providing appropriate healthcare (‘Zinnige zorg’). Every person in the Netherlands is entitled to health care offered in the basic healthcare insurance package. The National HealthCare Institute determines and advises on which types of health care are included in this package. As part of their program they are screening all healthcare interventions that are offered as part of the basic healthcare insurance package, with the aim of identifying and removing inefficient an unnecessary care, in order to enhance the quality of care, improve health, and reduce unnecessary costs.
The department of cardiovascular- and lung diseases has raised the question of whether E-health can be used as an instrument to enhance patient adherence to therapies for lung diseases.

E-health interventions to enhance patient adherence
E-health is a promising means to address the relatively poor adherence to therapies for patients with lung diseases. For example, think about electronic medication reminders, education material delivered by a mobile app or e-mail, websites with interactive modules and psychoeducation about patient adherence and outcomes, and automated or personalized SMS feedback on patients’ adherence to therapy.

Systematic literature review
A systematic review of the literature is conducted to investigate whether E-health technologies can improve adherence to healthcare interventions for patients with lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and obstructive sleep apnea. The search focuses on relevant studies as published in peer-reviewed academic journals, published from 2000 onwards, and written in English or Dutch. Besides the add-on value of E-health with respect to enhancing patient adherence, relationships between patient adherence and health outcomes are examined.

Procedure
A systematic literature search has been conducted in several electronic databases. Over 3000 articles were identified with the search. Currently, all titles and abstracts are being screened for eligibility in the review. Next, a full-text analysis will be conducted for all eligible articles on the topic. The review will provide an overview of which E-health interventions have been investigated, and the extent to which these have been successful in improving patient adherence to therapies for asthma, COPD, and sleep apnea. If possible, a meta-analysis will be conducted.

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Heleen Riper, VU University Amsterdam
Principal investigator: Dr. Jiska Aardoom, VU University Amsterdam
Assistent investigator: Lisa Loheide-Niessman, VU University Amsterdam
Commissioning party: Dr. Hans Ossebaard Dutch National Healthcare Institute