eHealth for Patient Engagement: A Systematic Review

Front Psychol. 2016 Jan 8:6:2013. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.02013. eCollection 2015.


eHealth interventions are recognized to have a tremendous potential to promote patient engagement. To date, the majority of studies examine the efficacy of eHealth in enhancing clinical outcomes without focusing on patient engagement in its specificity. This paper aimed at reviewing findings from the literature about the use of eHealth in engaging patients in their own care process. We undertook a comprehensive literature search within the peer-reviewed international literature. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. eHealth interventions reviewed were mainly devoted to foster only partial dimensions of patient engagement (i.e., alternatively cognitive, emotional or behavioral domains related to healthcare management), thus failing to consider the complexity of such an experience. This also led to a great heterogeneity of technologies, assessed variables and achieved outcomes. This systematic review underlines the need for a more holistic view of patient needs to actually engage them in eHealth interventions and obtaining positive outcomes. In this sense, patient engagement constitute a new frontiers for healthcare models where eHealth could maximize its potentialities.

Keywords: eHealth; patient activation; patient engagement; patient experience; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review