eHealth-mediated interventions have been proposed as one option to support self-management in those with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This scoping review aimed to chart the evidence regarding eHealth modalities, musculoskeletal diagnosis, and outcomes of eHealth-mediated self-management support interventions in persons with MSDs and identify any gaps within the literature.
Six electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, Scopus and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews), seven grey literature sources (eg, OpenGrey) and reference and citation lists of included studies were searched from database inception to July 2020. Published studies of adult participants with a MSD utilizing an eHealth intervention to support self-management were included. Studies were limited to those published in English. Two reviewers independently screened all studies. Data was extracted by 1 reviewer and reviewed by another reviewer.
After screening 3377 titles and abstracts followed by 176 full-texts, 87 studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The majority were published in the last 5 years (n¿=¿48; 55%), with almost one-third originating in the United States (n¿=¿28; 32%). The most common eHealth modality type was internet-based (n¿=¿22; 35%) with almost one-half (n¿=¿41; 47%) of the included studies involving participants with widespread musculoskeletal symptoms. The most commonly reported outcomes related to body functions (ie, pain intensity) (n¿=¿67; 45%), closely followed by activities and participation (ie, function) (n¿=¿65; 44%) with environmental factors (ie, healthcare utilization) the least commonly reported (n¿=¿17; 20%).
There is considerable variation within the eHealth-mediated self-management support intervention literature. Research is needed on the role of eHealth-mediated self-management support interventions across a broad range of MSDs to guide clinical practice.
This scoping review has identified gaps in the literature relating to specific eHealth modalities, musculoskeletal diagnoses and healthcare utilization data which should guide future research.