Are COPD self-management mobile applications effective? A systematic review and meta-analysis

George Shaw, Maxine Whelan, Laura Armitage, Nia Roberts, Andrew Farmer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to patients and health services is steadily increasing. Self-management supported by mobile device applications could improve outcomes for people with COPD. Our aim was to synthesize evidence on the effectiveness of mobile health applications compared with usual care. A systematic review was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials. Outcomes of interest included exacerbations, physical function, and Quality of Life (QoL). Where possible, outcome data were pooled for meta-analyses. Of 1709 citations returned, 13 were eligible trials. Number of exacerbations, quality of life, physical function, dyspnea, physical activity, and self-efficacy were reported. Evidence for effectiveness was inconsistent between studies, and the pooled effect size for physical function and QoL was not significant. There was notable variation in outcome measures used across trials. Developing a standardized outcome-reporting framework for digital health interventions in COPD self-management may help standardize future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages10
Journalnpj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Quality of life
  • Respiratory signs and symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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