Pénielle Mahutchegnon Mitchaï, Jean Mapinduzi, Jonas Verbrugghe, Sarah Michiels, Lotte Janssens, Oyéné Kossi, Bruno Bonnechère, Annick Timmermans

October 2023, pp 1 - 24 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07964-2

First Online: 04 October 2023


The aim of this systematic review was primarily to identify the types of mHealth technologies for the rehabilitation of non-specific spinal disorders, second to evaluate their efficacy, and finally to determine their applicability in LMICs.


Three databases (Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science) were searched for randomized controlled trials and clinical trials from January 2012 until December 2022. Studies were found eligible when using mHealth technologies for the rehabilitation of non-specific spinal disorders. To evaluate efficacy, the primary outcome was pain intensity, and the secondary outcomes were disability and quality of life. To evaluate the applicability in LMICs, information about financial and geographical accessibility, offline usability, and languages was extracted.


Fifteen studies were included comprising 1828 participants who suffer from non-specific low back pain (86.05%) and non-specific neck pain (13.95%). Fourteen distinct smartphone-based interventions and two sensor system interventions were found, with a duration ranging from four weeks to six months. All mHealth interventions demonstrated efficacy for the improvement of pain, disability and quality of life in non-specific spinal disorders, particularly low back pain. Five of the evaluated smartphone applications were free of charge accessible and had language features that could be adapted for use in LMICs.


mHealth interventions can be used and integrated into the conventional treatment of non-specific spinal disorders in rehabilitation. They have demonstrated efficacy and could be implemented in LMICs with minor adaptations to overcome language barriers and the absolute necessity of the internet.

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