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The impact of self-monitoring in chronic illness on healthcare utilisation: a systematic review of reviews

McBain, H. B., Shipley, M. & Newman, S. P. (2015). The impact of self-monitoring in chronic illness on healthcare utilisation: a systematic review of reviews. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1), pp. 1-10. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1221-5


Background: Self-management interventions have been found to reduce healthcare utilisation in people with long-term conditions, but further work is needed to identify which components of these interventions are most effective. Self-monitoring is one such component and is associated with significant clinical benefits. The aim of this systematic review of reviews is to assess the impact of self-monitoring interventions on healthcare utilisation across a range of chronic illnesses.

Methods: An overview of published systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Multiple databases were searched (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, AMED, EBM and HMIC) along with the reference lists of included reviews. A narrative synthesis was performed, accompanied by calculation of the Corrected Cover Area to understand the impact of overlapping primary research papers.

Results: A total of 17 systematic reviews and meta-analyses across three chronic conditions, heart failure, hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, were included. Self-monitoring was associated with significant reductions in hospitalisation and re-admissions to hospital.

Conclusions: Self-monitoring has the potential to reduce the pressure placed on secondary care services, but this may lead to increase in services elsewhere in the system. Further work is needed to determine how these findings affect healthcare costs.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 McBain et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided 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 Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Publisher Keywords: Self-monitoring, Chronic illness, Healthcare utilization, Complex interventions, Hospitalization, Systematic review, Meta-analysis
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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