Limitations of patient satisfaction studies in telehealthcare: a systematic review of the literature.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study is to provide a systematic review of studies on patient satisfaction with telemedicine. The review included empirical studies that investigated patient satisfaction with that telemedicine service. The search strategy involved matching at least one of 11 'telemedicine' terms with one of 5 'satisfaction' terms. The following databases were searched: Telemedicine Information Exchange (TIE) database, MEDLINE, Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Psycinfo, and Citation Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL). A highly structured instrument was used for data extraction. The review included 93 studies. Telepsychiatry represents the largest portion of these studies (25%), followed by multispecialty care (14%), nursing (11%), and dermatology (8%). Real-time videoconferencing was used in 88% of these studies. Only 19 (20%) included an independent control group, including 9 (10%) randomized control trial (RCT) studies. One third of studies were based on samples of less than 20 patients, and only 21% had samples of over 100 patients. Aspects of patient satisfaction most commonly assessed were: professional-patient interaction, the patient's feeling about the consultation, and technical aspects of the consultation. Only 33% of the studies included a measure of preference between telemedicine and face-to-face consultation. Almost half the studies measured only 1 or 2 dimensions of satisfaction. Reported levels of satisfaction with telemedicine are consistently greater than 80%, and frequently reported at 100%. Progression of telemedicine services from "trial" status to routine health service must be supported by improved research into patients' satisfaction with telemedicine. Further investigation of factors that influence patient acceptance of telemedicine is indicated.
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ABSTRACT: Telehealthcare involves the use of information and communication technologies to deliver healthcare at a distance and to support patient self-management through remote monitoring and personalised feedback. It is timely to scrutinise the evidence regarding the benefits, risks and costs of telehealthcare. Two reviewers searched for relevant systematic reviews published from January 1997 to November 2011 in: The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, IndMed and PakMed. Reviewers undertook independent quality assessment of studies using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool for systematic reviews. 1,782 review articles were identified, from which 80 systematic reviews were selected for inclusion. These covered a range of telehealthcare models involving both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (store-and-forward) interactions between provider and patients. Many studies showed no differences in outcomes between telehealthcare and usual care. Several reviews highlighted the large number of short-term (<12 months) feasibility studies with under 20 participants. Effects of telehealthcare on health service indicators were reported in several reviews, particularly reduced hospitalisations. The reported clinical effectiveness of telehealthcare interventions for patients with long-term conditions appeared to be greatest in those with more severe disease at high-risk of hospitalisation and death. The failure of many studies to adequately describe the intervention makes it difficult to disentangle the contributions of technological and human/organisational factors on the outcomes reported. Evidence on the cost-effectiveness of telehealthcare remains sparse. Patient safety considerations were absent from the evaluative telehealthcare literature. Policymakers and planners need to be aware that investment in telehealthcare will not inevitably yield clinical or economic benefits. It is likely that the greatest gains will be achieved for patients at highest risk of serious outcomes. There is a need for longer-term studies in order to determine whether the benefits demonstrated in time limited trials are sustained.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e71238. · 3.53 Impact Factor
- Australian Journal of Primary Health 10/2013; · 0.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is growing interest in telehealth-the use of technology to support the remote delivery of health care and promote self-management-as a potential alternative to face-to-face care for patients with chronic diseases. However, little is known about what precipitates interest in the use of telehealth among these patients. This survey forms part of a research program to develop and evaluate a telehealth intervention for patients with two exemplar chronic diseases: depression and raised cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The survey was designed to explore the key factors that influence interest in using telehealth in these patient groups. Thirty-four general practices were recruited from two different regions within England. Practice records were searched for patients with (1) depression (aged 18+ years) or (2) 10-year risk of CVD ≥20% and at least one modifiable risk factor (aged 40-74 years). Within each general practice, 54 patients in each chronic disease group were randomly selected to receive a postal questionnaire. Questions assessed five key constructs: sociodemographics, health needs, difficulties accessing health care, technology-related factors (availability, confidence using technology, perceived benefits and drawbacks of telehealth), and satisfaction with prior use of telehealth. Respondents also rated their interest in using different technologies for telehealth (phone, email and Internet, or social media). Relationships between the key constructs and interest in using the three mediums of telehealth were examined using multivariable regression models. Of the 3329 patients who were sent a study questionnaire, 44.40% completed it (872/1740, 50.11% CVD risk; 606/1589, 38.14% depression). Overall, there was moderate interest in using phone-based (854/1423, 60.01%) and email/Internet-based (816/1425, 57.26%) telehealth, but very little interest in social media (243/1430, 16.99%). After adjusting for health needs, access difficulties, technology-related factors, and prior use of telehealth, interest in telehealth had largely no association with sociodemographic variables. For both patient groups and for each of the three technology mediums, the most important constructs related to interest in telehealth were having the confidence to use the associated technology, as well as perceiving greater advantages and fewer disadvantages from using telehealth. To illustrate, greater confidence using phone technologies (b=.16, 95% CI 0.002-0.33), while also perceiving more benefits (b=.31, 95% CI 0.21-0.40) and fewer drawbacks (b=-.23, 95% CI -0.28 to -0.17) to using telehealth were associated with more interest in using phone-based telehealth technologies for patients with depression. There is widespread interest in using phone-based and email/Internet-based telehealth among patients with chronic diseases, regardless of their health status, access difficulties, age, or many other sociodemographic factors. This interest could be increased by helping patients gain confidence using technologies and through highlighting benefits and addressing concerns about telehealth. While the same pattern exists for social media telehealth, interest in using these technologies is minimal.Journal of Medical Internet Research 01/2014; 16(5):e123. · 3.77 Impact Factor