HumanInsight Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Healthcare Utilization among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Mar 4;20(5):4577. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20054577.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, healthcare services have been grossly overwhelmed by the pandemic. Due to this circumstance, routine care for individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been temporarily disrupted. The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize the evidence regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare utilization among patients with T2DM. A systematic search was conducted in the Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed databases. The process of identifying the final articles followed the PRISMA guidelines. The inclusion criteria were articles published between 2020 and 2022, written in English, and studies focusing on the research question. Any proceedings and books were excluded. A total of fourteen articles relevant to the research question were extracted. Following that, the included articles were critically appraised using the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool (MMAT) and the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Tool to assess the quality of the studies. The findings were further classified into three themes: reduced healthcare utilization among T2DM patients in routine healthcare services, a surge of telemedicine usage, and delay in the delivery of healthcare services. The key messages include demands for monitoring the long-term effects of the missed care and that better preparedness is crucial for any pandemic in the future. A tight diagnostic workup at the community level and regular follow-ups are crucial in managing the impact of the pandemic among T2DM patients. Telemedicine should be on the agenda of the health system to maintain and complement healthcare services. Future research is warranted to determine effective strategies to deal with the impact of the pandemic on healthcare utilization and delivery among T2DM patients. A clear policy is essential and should be established.
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