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J Med Internet Res. 2012 Nov 19;14(6):e159. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2275.

Information and communication technology to support self-management of patients with mild acquired cognitive impairments: systematic review.

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Health Informatics Centre-HIC, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics-LIME, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



Mild acquired cognitive impairment (MACI) is a new term used to describe a subgroup of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who are expected to reach a stable cognitive level over time. This patient group is generally young and have acquired MCI from a head injury or mild stroke. Although the past decade has seen a large amount of research on how to use information and communication technology (ICT) to support self-management of patients with chronic diseases, MACI has not received much attention. Therefore, there is a lack of information about what tools have been created and evaluated that are suitable for self-management of MACI patients, and a lack of clear direction on how best to proceed with ICT tools to support self-management of MACI patients.


This paper aims to provide direction for further research and development of tools that can support health care professionals in assisting MACI patients with self-management. An overview of studies reporting on the design and/or evaluation of ICT tools for assisting MACI patients in self-management is presented. We also analyze the evidence of benefit provided by these tools, and how their functionality matches MACI patients' needs to determine areas of interest for further research and development.


A review of the existing literature about available assistive ICT tools for MACI patients was conducted using 8 different medical, scientific, engineering, and physiotherapy library databases. The functionality of tools was analyzed using an analytical framework based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and a subset of common and important problems for patients with MACI created by MACI experts in Sweden.


A total of 55 search phrases applied in the 8 databases returned 5969 articles. After review, 7 articles met the inclusion criteria. Most articles reported case reports and exploratory research. Out of the 7 articles, 4 (57%) studies had less than 10 participants, 5 (71%) technologies were memory aids, and 6 studies were mobile technologies. All 7 studies fit the profile for patients with MACI as described by our analytical framework. However, several areas in the framework important for meeting patient needs were not covered by the functionality in any of the ICT tools.


This study shows a lack of ICT tools developed and evaluated for supporting self-management of MACI patients. Our analytical framework was a valuable tool for providing an overview of how the functionality of these tools matched patient needs. There are a number of important areas for MACI patients that are not covered by the functionality of existing tools, such as support for interpersonal interactions and relationships. Further research on ICT tools to support self-management for patients with MACI is needed.

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