HumanInsight Global evidence on the rapid adoption of telemedicine in primary care during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic: a scoping review protocol
Syst Rev. 2022 Jun 19;11(1):124. doi: 10.1186/s13643-022-01934-3.
BACKGROUND: Before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, primary care in most countries relied on face-to-face consultations, with relatively limited use of telemedicine. Lockdowns and social distancing measures during the early stages of the pandemic led to rapid, widely spread telemedicine adoption in healthcare settings. The rapid uptake that occurred following the onset of these pandemic-induced measures in countries such as the UK, Canada and New Zealand prompts questions around the drivers, extent and sustainability of this transformation in clinical practice at the global level, as the research in this area is still emerging. The purpose of this scoping review is to explore the global evidence surrounding the rapid adoption of telemedicine in primary care settings during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic through three lenses: patient experience, health inequalities and patient-clinician trust, with the purpose of identifying elements contributing to the sustainability of this innovation.
METHODS: A draft protocol was tested through an initial search on Ovid Medline, Web of Science and Google Scholar with additional searches on the Cochrane Database. This informed the final selection of terms which will be used to search Ovid, Web of Science, Google Scholar, PROSPERO, Cochrane Library and others, filtering for studies from the pandemic declaration onwards. Additional grey literature reports will be sourced through simplified searches on Google in widely spoken languages. Duplicates will be removed by screening titles. Abstracts and grey literature text extracts will be screened based on pre-set eligibility criteria by two researchers. Abstracts (and extracts in the case of grey literature) will be mapped against the domains of the Non-adoption, Abandonment, and challenges to Scale-up, Spread and Sustainability (NASSS) framework by two researchers. Data will be presented in table format.
DISCUSSION: This review will map the current literature to identify current gaps in evidence related to the adoption of telemedicine after the declaration of the pandemic in March 2020. The use of simplified searches in the several spoken languages in the world is aimed at capturing more immediate non-academic reflections and experiences on this major service change at a global level.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: The study has been registered on Open Science Framework and can be accessed through the following URL: https://osf.io/4z5ut/.
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