Featured publications

Theme: Improving care

A Comprehensive Literature Search of Digital Health Technology Use in Neurological Conditions: Review of Digital Tools to Promote Self-management and Support – Journal of Medical Internet Research

John Spreadbury, Alex Young, Christopher Kipps

The use of digital health technology to promote and deliver post diagnostic care in neurological conditions is becoming increasingly common. However, the range of digital tools available across different neurological conditions and how they facilitate self-management are unclear. This review aims to identify digital tools that promote self-management in neurological conditions and to investigate their underlying functionality and salient clinical outcomes. We conducted a search of 6 databases (ie, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Review) using free text and equivalent database-controlled vocabulary terms. We identified 27 published articles reporting 17 self-management digital tools. Multiple sclerosis (MS) had the highest number of digital tools followed by epilepsy, stroke, and headache and migraine with a similar number, and then pain. The majority were aimed at patients with a minority for carers. There were 5 broad categories of functionality promoting self-management: (1) knowledge and understanding; (2) behavior modification; (3) self-management support; (4) facilitating communication; and (5) recording condition characteristics. Salient clinical outcomes included improvements in self-management, self-efficacy, coping, depression, and fatigue. There now exist numerous digital tools to support user self-management, yet relatively few are described in the literature. More research is needed to investigate their use, effectiveness, and sustainability, as well as how this interacts with increasing disability, and their integration within formal neurological care environments.


Portrait image of Chris Kipps

Professor Chris Kipps

Role: Consultant Neurologist

Chris is a Consultant Neurologist with subspecialty interest in behavioural neurology and cognitive disorders, and Professor of Clinical Neurology and Dementia at University Hospital Southampton and the University of Southampton. He leads the Cognitive Disorders service at the Wessex Neurological Centre.

Chris is Clinical Director for Research and Development at...

Dr John Spreadbury

Role: Senior Research Fellow

John is a senior research fellow within the NIHR ARC Wessex, Ageing and Dementia Theme, based in the Faculty of Medicine at University Hospital Southampton.

John’s research interests include digital health technology in the context of long-term neurological conditions and neurodegenerative diseases, young-onset dementia care and psychosocial experiences, and psychosocial measurement...