A systematic review was conducted to investigate the use of technology in achieving behaviour change in chronic illness. The areas reviewed were: (1) methods employed to adapt traditional therapy from a face-to-face medium to a computer-assisted platform; (2) targets of behaviour change; and (3) level of human (e.g. therapist) involvement. The initial literature search produced 2032 articles. A total of 45 articles reporting 33 separate interventions met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were reviewed in detail. The majority of interventions reported a theoretical basis, with many arising from a cognitive-behavioural framework. There was a wide range of therapy content. Therapist involvement was reported in 73% of the interventions. A common problem was high participant attrition, which may have been related to reduced levels of human interaction. Instigating successful behaviour change through technological interventions poses many difficulties. However, there are potential benefits of delivering therapy in this way. For people with long-term health conditions, technological self-management systems could provide a practical method of understanding and monitoring their condition, as well as therapeutic guidance to alter maladaptive behaviour.
Rosser, B. A., Vowles, K. E., Keogh, E., Eccleston, C., & Mountain, G. A. (2009). Technologically-assisted behaviour change: a systematic review of studies of novel technologies for the management of chronic illness. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 15(7), 327-338. https://doi.org/10.1258/jtt.2009.090116