SAGE Journals

Development of the key performance indicators for digital health interventions: A scoping review

Posted on 2023-01-25 - 03:15

Digital health interventions offer new methods for delivering healthcare, with the potential to innovate healthcare services. Key performance indicators play a role in the evaluation, measurement, and improvement in healthcare quality and service performance. The aim of this scoping review was to identify current knowledge and evidence surrounding the development of key performance indicators for digital health interventions.


A literature search was conducted across ten key databases: AMED – The Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, CINAHL – Complete, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, MEDLINE, APA PsycINFO, EMBASE, EBM Reviews – Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EBM Reviews – Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, EBM Reviews – Health Technology Assessment, and IEEE Xplore.


Five references were eligible for the review. Two were articles on original research studies of a specific digital health intervention, and two were overviews of methods for developing digital health interventions (not specific to a single digital health intervention). All the included reports discussed the involvement of stakeholders in developing key performance indicators for digital health interventions. The step of identifying and defining the key performance indicators was completed using various methodologies, but all centred on a form of stakeholder involvement. Potential options for stakeholder involvement for key performance indicator identification include the use of an elicitation framework, a factorial survey approach, or a Delphi study.


Few articles were identified, highlighting a significant gap in evidence-based knowledge in this domain. All the included articles discussed the involvement of stakeholders in developing key performance indicators for digital health interventions, which were performed using various methodologies. The articles acknowledged a lack of literature related to key performance indicator development for digital health interventions. To allow comparability between key performance indicator initiatives and facilitate work in the field, further research would be beneficial to develop a common methodology for key performance indicators development for digital health interventions.


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