Objective: To assess the feasibility, reliability, validity, and potential clinical impact of interactive voice response (IVR) systems in the diagnosis and management of chronic disease.
Study design: Literature review.
Results: Interactive voice response assessment systems have been implemented in the treatment of patients with chronic health problems such as heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, and mental health disorders. The information patients report during IVR assessments is at least as reliable as information obtained via structured clinical interviews or medical record reviews. Patients often are more inclined to report health problems to an IVR system than directly to a clinician. The few outcome evaluations of IVR-supported chronic illness management services indicate that they can have moderate impacts on some health and health behavior outcomes.
Conclusions: Future research should evaluate the extent to which IVR assessment data can improve the prediction of clinical problems over and above what is possible using data usually available to primary care providers. Studies also should evaluate the outcomes of IVR-supported chronic disease management and the use of IVR assessments to measure variation in patient-centered treatment outcomes.