HumanInsight A systematic review on outpatient telemedicine utilization in neurosurgery following the start of COVID-19
World Neurosurg. 2022 Sep 14:S1878-8750(22)01265-7. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2022.08.145. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked interest in telemedicine, resulting in an increase in neurosurgical publications focused on it. Here, we summarize this new literature to evaluate telemedicine applications to neurosurgery.
METHODS: A systematic literature review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines by searching on PubMed, Embase, and Scopus for journal article published after 1/1/2020. All journal articles that included data after the start of COVID-19 and evaluated any aspect of telemedicine relevant to outpatient neurosurgical visits were included. The premise and key findings of each included study were extracted, as well as patient and provider satisfaction with and preference for telemedicine.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven articles met the inclusion criteria. Four studies proposed and evaluated a remote neurological examination. Two studies reported similar post-visit outcomes between remote and in-person visits. Twenty-four studies reported a combination of patient and provider opinions towards telemedicine. Of 9834 patients and 116 providers, 82.4% and 65.2% were satisfied overall with telemedicine, respectively. Of 3526 patients and 168 providers, 57.0% and 66.5% preferred telemedicine to in-person visits, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, most patients and providers have a high opinion of telemedicine for outpatient visits, and growing evidence suggests that remote visits yield favorable clinical outcomes. The high rates of patient and provider satisfaction and preference may be considered for further adoption of remote neurosurgical visits beyond the COVID-19 era.
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