J Telemed Telecare. 2023 Mar 14:1357633X231156207. doi: 10.1177/1357633X231156207. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has led to delays in providing healthcare in both emergency and non-emergency settings, especially in surgical subspecialties which rely heavily on referrals and in-person visits. Without an established telehealth infrastructure, many otorhinolaryngological departments experienced decreases in consultations. Telemedicine has attempted to bridge the gap between pre- and post-pandemic periods by creating a safe avenue of communication between otorhinolaryngologists and patients. This review hopes to address the accuracy of telemedicine in patient diagnosis and management.
METHODS: Searches were conducted since study conception until June 30, 2022, on multiple databases including PubMed, SCOPUS, and CINAHL for this systematic review and meta-analysis. Diagnostic accuracy, management accuracy, kappa, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were meta-analyzed by comparing virtual visits to in-person visits (gold standard).
RESULTS: Nineteen studies were included in this review. A total of 1518 patients were included across all studies. When comparing virtual visits against in-person visits, accurate diagnosis was made in 86.2% [82.1,89.9, I2 = 73.5%, P < 0.0001] of patients and management accuracy was 91.5% [86.1,95.7, I2 = 81.8%, P < 0.0001] when treating patients. Kappa value determining interrater reliability was 0.8 [0.7,0.9, I2 = 81.8%, P < 0.0001].
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that diagnostic and management concordance is above 80% when comparing diagnosis and management strategies in patients who underwent both telehealth and in-person visits with an otorhinolaryngologist. In uncomplicated patients, telehealth might be a reliable source for diagnosis and management however, in-person consultation is likely still required for pathologies in which physical exam, imaging or procedural elements represent a vital component of the work-up.
PMID:36916306 | DOI:10.1177/1357633X231156207
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