Original Research

Digital health and self-management of chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa: A scoping review

Mourine S. Achieng, Oluwamayowa O. Ogundaini
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 24, No 1 | a1550 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v24i1.1550 | © 2022 Mourine S. Achieng, Oluwamayowa O. Ogundaini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 April 2022 | Published: 24 August 2022

About the author(s)

Mourine S. Achieng, Department of Digital Transformation and Innovation, UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership, Midrand, South Africa
Oluwamayowa O. Ogundaini, Department of Digital Transformation and Innovation, UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership, Midrand, South Africa

Abstract

Background: With the rise of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the concept of digital self-management presents great opportunities for relieving some of the burdens healthcare systems face. However, for this to be realised, effective use of digital health in self-management and assessment is essential.

Objective: The objective of this scoping review was to identify social determinants and cognitive factors with potential influence on digital health use in self-management of chronic medical conditions associated with NCDs in SSA.

Method: The 5-stage scoping review framework was used to search, identify, and filter publications over a 10-year period from two major databases, Google Scholar and Pubmed. Based on the inclusion criteria, a total of 12 documents were chosen for analysis.

Results: Findings reveal that social determinants such as cultural values and societal practices demand a rethinking of how digital health for self-management of chronic diseases are designed and developed for use in SSA, whereas a cognitive factor such as self-efficacy is central in digital health use in self-management of chronic conditions, particularly in areas like adherence to medication, diet and exercise programmes.

Conclusion: Owing to the unique characteristics of digital health users in SSA, technologies and content (particularly those for self-management of chronic diseases) should be tailored to the diverse needs of the population. It is through this that the region can fully benefit from the potential of digital health use in self-management of chronic diseases associated with NCDs.


Keywords

digital health; self-management; sub-Saharan Africa; noncommunicable diseases; chronic medical conditions

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Crossref Citations

1. The Role of FinTech in Sustainable Healthcare Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Narrative Review
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doi: 10.3390/fintech2030025