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

Renée Speyer*, Deborah Denman, Bsppath Hons, Sarah Wilkes-Gillan, Yu Wei Chen, Hans Bogaardt, Jae Hyun Kim, Dani Ella Heckathorn, Reinie Cordier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

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-Toface interventions. Data sources: CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO and Pub-Med 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume50
Issue number3
Early online date19 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

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