Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma have a high prevalence and disease burden. Blended self-management interventions, which combine eHealth with face-to-face interventions, can help reduce the disease burden.
Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to examine the effectiveness of blended self-management interventions on health-related effectiveness and process outcomes for people with COPD or asthma.
Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, COCHRANE Library, Emcare, and Embase were searched in December 2018 and updated in November 2020. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias (ROB) 2 tool and the Grading of Recommendations,
Assessment, Development, and Evaluation.
Results: A total of 15 COPD and 7 asthma randomized controlled trials were included in this study. The meta-analysis of COPD studies found that the blended intervention showed a small improvement in exercise capacity (standardized mean difference
[SMD] 0.48; 95% CI 0.10-0.85) and a significant improvement in the quality of life (QoL; SMD 0.81; 95% CI 0.11-1.51). Blended intervention also reduced the admission rate (relative ratio [RR] 0.61; 95% CI 0.38-0.97). In the COPD systematic review,
regarding the exacerbation frequency, both studies found that the intervention reduced exacerbation frequency (RR 0.38; 95% CI 0.26-0.56). A large effect was found on BMI (d=0.81; 95% CI 0.25-1.34); however, the effect was inconclusive because only
1 study was included. Regarding medication adherence, 2 of 3 studies found a moderate effect (d=0.73; 95% CI 0.50-0.96), and 1 study reported a mixed effect. Regarding self-management ability, 1 study reported a large effect (d=1.15; 95% CI 0.66-1.62),
and no effect was reported in that study. No effect was found on other process outcomes. The meta-analysis of asthma studies found that blended intervention had a small improvement in lung function (SMD 0.40; 95% CI 0.18-0.62) and QoL (SMD 0.36;
95% CI 0.21-0.50) and a moderate improvement in asthma control (SMD 0.67; 95% CI 0.40-0.93). A large effect was found on BMI (d=1.42; 95% CI 0.28-2.42) and exercise capacity (d=1.50; 95% CI 0.35-2.50); however, 1 study was included per outcome.
There was no effect on other outcomes. Furthermore, the majority of the 22 studies showed some concerns about the ROB, and the quality of evidence varied.
Conclusions: In patients with COPD, the blended self-management interventions had mixed effects on health-related outcomes, with the strongest evidence found for exercise capacity, QoL, and admission rate. Furthermore, the review suggested that the
interventions resulted in small effects on lung function and QoL and a moderate effect on asthma control in patients with asthma. There is some evidence for the effectiveness of blended self-management interventions for patients with COPD and asthma;
however, more research is needed.
Trial Registration: PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42019119894; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=119894