Telemedicine Services in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review of Patients’ Adherence

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Health Information Technology, Ferdows School of Health and Allied Medical Sciences, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, South Khorasan, Iran

2 Department of Health Information Technology and Management, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: The current systematic review aimed to determine the effect of telemedicine services on adherence in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and to describe the type of adherence and applied devices and modules.
Materials and Methods: We reviewed PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Embase databases to identify relevant studies from the time of inception of these databases to March 10, 2019, using three groups of keywords. The first group comprised words describing COPD, the second group included words describing types of telemedicine interventions, and the third group contained words describing adherence. The reference list of identified articles was also hand-searched to retrieve possibly relevant articles.
Results: In total 21 articles were included, in which 13 reported a positive effect for telemedicine on patients’ adherence. Adherence to treatment was classified under six categories. The highest frequency belongs to the adherence to performing exercises and participation in training sessions, using the system, using devices, measuring (like blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, weight, temperature, sputum volume) and reporting symptoms and the results of measurements, completing tasks, and medication.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated the effectiveness of telemedicine services on adherence to treatment plans in patients with COPD. The following factors contribute to the effectiveness of telemedicine services: patient support by healthcare professionals and easy access to them, uninterrupted execution of telemedicine programs, follow-up and supervision of providers, creating and maintaining motivation in patients, and provision of different self-management modules.