Background: Electronic health (eHealth) is a multidisciplinary and rapidly evolving field, and thus requires research focused on knowledge accumulation, curation, and translation. Cardiovascular diseases constitute a global health care crisis in which eHealth can provide novel solutions to improve the efficiency and reach of self-management support for patients where they most need it: their homes and communities. A holistic understanding of eHealth projects focused on such case is required to bridge the multidisciplinary gap formed by the wide range of aims and approaches taken by the various disciplines involved.
Objective: The primary objective of this review is to facilitate a holistic interpretation of eHealth projects aimed at providing self-management support of cardiovascular diseases in the natural setting of patients, thus priming the use of remote monitoring technologies. The review aims to synthesize the operationalization of frameworks, models, and theories applied to the research and development process of eHealth.
Methods: We will use Noblit and Hare's metaethnography approach to review and synthesize researchers' and practitioners' reports on how they applied frameworks, models, and theories in their projects. We will systematically search the literature in 7 databases: Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ACM Digital Library, and the Cochrane Library. We will thoroughly read and code selected studies to extract both raw and contextual data for the synthesis. The relation of the studies will be determined according to the elements of the frameworks, models, or theories the studies applied. We will translate these elements between each other and intend to synthesize holistic principles for eHealth development for the case at hand.
Results: The search strategy has been completed, data extraction is almost finalized, and the first synthesis approaches are underway. The search yielded 1224 citations and, after we applied the selection criteria, 17 articles remained. We expect to submit the final results for publication in 2019.
Conclusions: This review is important because it aims to create a holistic understanding of a multidisciplinary topic at the crossroads of eHealth, cardiovascular diseases, and self-management. The value of metaethnography in contrast to other systematic review methods is that its synthesis approach seeks to generate a new understanding of a topic, while preserving the social and theoretical contexts in which findings emerge. Our results will show how useful this method can be in bridging the multidisciplinary gap of eHealth research and development, to inform and advance the importance of holistic approaches, while showcasing this approach for the case of self-management in cardiovascular diseases.