Patient expectations and experiences of remote monitoring for chronic diseases: Systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies

Int J Med Inform. 2019 Apr;124:78-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.01.013. Epub 2019 Jan 29.


Objectives: To describe the range of patients' beliefs, attitudes, expectations, and experiences of remote monitoring for chronic conditions across different healthcare contexts and populations.

Design: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsychINFO, and CINAHL, Google Scholar, and reference lists of related studies through to July 2017. Thematic synthesis was used to analyse the findings of the primary studies. Study characteristics were examined to explain differences in findings.

Setting: All healthcare settings PARTICIPANTS: Adults with chronic diseases OUTCOMES: Patient beliefs, attitudes, expectations and experiences of remote monitoring RESULTS: We included 16 studies involving 307 participants with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, and end stage kidney disease. The studies were conducted in 8 countries. We identified four themes: gaining knowledge and triggering actions (tracking and responding to change, prompting timely and accessible care, supporting self-management and shared decision-making); reassurance and security (safety in being alone, peace of mind); concern about additional burden (reluctance to learn something new, lack of trust in technology, avoiding additional out-of-pocket costs), and jeopardising interpersonal connections (fear of being lost in data, losing face to face contact).

Conclusions: For patients with chronic disease, remote monitoring increased their disease-specific knowledge, triggered earlier clinical assessment and treatment, improved self-management and shared decision-making. However, these potential benefits were balanced against concerns about losing interpersonal contact, and the additional personal responsibility of remote monitoring.

Keywords: Chronic disease; Patient; Remote patient monitoring; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease*
  • Decision Making*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Heart Failure
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Motivation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Qualitative Research