Low certainty evidence suggests that smart technology may have limited effect in supporting self-management in COPD

Added July 23, 2020

Citation: McCabe C, McCann M, Brady AM. Computer and mobile technology interventions for self‐management in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017(5):CD011425

What is this? Patients with respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may be at high risk of complications of COVID-19 infection. Existing research on computer and mobile technology to improve self-management may provide useful information for patients, practitioners and policy makers.

In this Cochrane review, the authors searched for randomized controlled trials on the effect of computer and mobile technologies on behavioural change towards self-management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They did not restrict their searches by date or language of publication and did the search in November 2016. They included three studies (total: 557 participants) from the Netherlands (2) and from the USA/Puerto Rico (1). They also identified an additional 1 ongoing study, which are awaiting assessment. The included studies were at high risk of bias and the evidence of poor quality.

What works: The review provided no evidence on whether people who received smart technology had fewer hospital admissions or acute exacerbations. People who received smart technology showed slightly greater improvement in quality of life and increased physical activity compared with people who received face-to-face/digital and/or written support over a four-week to six-month period. However, this evidence was of low certainty and the authors caution about recommending the use of smart technology.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: The use of smart technology to help support self-management in COPD patients remains uncertain.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.