Home > How does it work? Factors involved in telemedicine home-interventions effectiveness: a review of reviews.

Bertoncello, Chiara and Colucci, Massimiliano and Baldovin, Tatjana and Buja, Alessandra and Baldo, Vincenzo (2018) How does it work? Factors involved in telemedicine home-interventions effectiveness: a review of reviews. PLoS ONE, 13, (11 e0207332), e0207332. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207332.

External website: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.13...

INTRODUCTION: Definitive evidence of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of telemedicine home-interventions for the management of chronic diseases is still lacking. This study examines whether and how published reviews consider and discuss the influence on outcomes of different factors, including: setting, target, and intensity of intervention; patient engagement; the perspective of patients, caregivers and health professionals; the organizational model; patient education and support. Included reviews were also assessed in terms of economic and ethical issues.

METHODS: Two search algorithms were developed to scan PubMed for reviews published between 2000 and 2015, about ICT-based interventions for the management of hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or for the care of elderly patients. Based on our inclusion criteria, 25 reviews were selected for analysis.

RESULTS: None of the included reviews covered all the above-mentioned factors. They mostly considered target (44%) and intervention intensity (24%). Setting, ethical issues, patient engagement, and caregiver perspective were the most neglected factors (considered in 0-4% of the reviews). Only 4 reviews (16%) considered at least 4 of the 11 factors, the maximum number of factors considered in a review is 5.

CONCLUSIONS: Factors that may be involved in ICT-based interventions, affecting their effectiveness or cost-effectiveness, are not enough studied in the literature. This research suggests to consider mostly the role of each one, comparing not only disease-related outcomes, but also patients and healthcare organizations outcomes, and patient engagement, in order to understand how interventions work.

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