Effects of telehealth by allied health professionals and nurses in rural and remote areas: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Speyer, Renée, Denman, Deborah, Wilkes-gillan, Sarah, Chen, Yu-Wei, Bogaardt, Hans, Kim, Jae-Hyun, Heckathorn, Dani-Ella, and Cordier, Reinie (2018) Effects of telehealth by allied health professionals and nurses in rural and remote areas: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 50 (3). pp. 225-235.

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Abstract

Objective: To describe telehealth interventions delivered by allied health professionals and nurses in rural and remote areas, and to compare the effects of telehealth interventions with standard face-to-face interventions.

Data sources: CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO and PubMed databases were searched. The content of relevant journals and published articles were also searched.

Study selection: Studies examining the effectiveness of allied health and nursing telehealth interventions for rural and remote populations were included in descriptive analyses. Studies comparing telehealth intervention with standard face-to-face interventions grouped by type of intervention approach were used to examine between-groups effect sizes.

Data extraction: Methodological quality of studies was rated using the QualSyst critical appraisal tool and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Evidence Hierarchy levels.

Data synthesis: After quality ratings, 43 studies were included. A majority of studies had strong methodological quality. The disciplines of psychology and nursing were represented most frequently, as were studies using a cognitive intervention approach. Meta-analysis results slightly favoured telehealth interventions compared with face-to-face interventions, but did not show significant differences. Interventions using a combined physical and cognitive approach appeared to be more effective.

Conclusion: Telehealth services may be as effective as face-to-face interventions, which is encouraging given the potential benefits of telehealth in rural and remote areas with regards to healthcare access and time and cost savings.

Item ID: 53796
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1651-2081
Keywords: telemedicine, video conferencing, delivery of healthcare, treatment outcome, outcome assessment, rural population, rural health, remote consultation
Copyright Information: © 2018 Foundation of Rehabilitation Information. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license.
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 30 May 2018 07:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 100%
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