Home > Telehealth: Mapping the evidence for patient outcomes from systematic reviews.

Totten, Annette M and Womack, Dana M and Eden, Karen B and McDonagh, Marian S and Griffin, Jessica C and Grusing, Sara and Hersh, William R (2016) Telehealth: Mapping the evidence for patient outcomes from systematic reviews. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Report no.: 16-EHC034-EF.

External website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK379320/


We identified 1,494 citations about telehealth, from which 58 systematic reviews met our inclusion criteria. A large volume of research reported that telehealth interventions produce positive outcomes when used for remote patient monitoring, broadly defined, for several chronic conditions and for psychotherapy as part of behavioral health. The most consistent benefit has been reported when telehealth is used for communication and counseling or remote monitoring in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, with improvements in outcomes such as mortality, quality of life, and reductions in hospital admissions. Given sufficient evidence of effectiveness for these topics, the focus of future research should shift to implementation and practice-based research. Topics with an evidence base that could be the focus of future systematic reviews include telehealth for consultation, uses in intensive care units, and applications in maternal and child health. We also identified topics with a limited evidence base such as telehealth for triage in urgent/primary care, management of serious pediatric conditions, patient outcomes for teledermatology, and the integration of behavioral and physical health that may be best addressed by additional primary research. Finally, telehealth research should be integrated into evaluation of new models of care and payment so that the potential of telehealth can be assessed across the continuum of care in organizations that are implementing these reforms.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report, Review
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Treatment method, Alternative medical treatment
May 2016
Identification #
Report no.: 16-EHC034-EF
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Place of Publication
Rockville, MD

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