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Systematic review of telemedicine in pediatric urology


HumanInsight Systematic review of telemedicine in pediatric urology

J Pediatr Urol. 2021 Oct 5:S1477-5131(21)00460-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2021.09.024. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Telemedicine has bridged the distance gap between patients and pediatric urologists for over a decade, yet many pediatric urologists have not embraced it as a major part of their practice. The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate and clarify the optimal role of telemedicine in pediatric urology, as well as the benefits, barriers, risks, and other important considerations that must be accounted for in its optimal adoption.

METHODS: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, this systematic review utilized Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to search PubMed through April 29, 2021 as follows: (Humans [MeSH]) AND ((Child [MeSH]) OR (Infant [MeSH])) AND ((Remote Consultation [MAJR]) OR (Telemedicine [MAJR]) OR (Videoconferencing [MAJR]) OR (Health Services Accessibility [MAJR])) AND ((Urology [MAJR]) OR (Postoperative Care [MAJR]) OR (Urologic Surgical Procedures [MAJR])). 73 resulting articles, plus 21 from manual searches (e.g. papers too recent to have MeSH terms), were screened. 17 met inclusion criteria by discussing telemedicine in context of pediatric urology in a full manuscript. Non-complete manuscripts and papers not specifically considering pediatric urology, or in which telemedicine was not a major focus, were excluded.

RESULTS: 17 papers met inclusion criteria. Varied approaches to the topic included surveys, controlled studies, retrospective studies, and descriptive opinion pieces. Quality of evidence varied, representing at least 1851 virtual encounters, 409 in-person encounters, and 68 clinician opinions. Four papers included a comparison or control group, and none utilized randomization. All 17 papers support expanded application of telemedicine in pediatric urology with varied evidence that telemedicine improves patient access to pediatric urologic care, satisfies both patient families and clinicians, is safe, provides equivalent outcomes, and is practicable.

CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of telemedicine in pediatric urology should be expanded as it can practicably and safely improve patient access to pediatric urologic care, satisfy both patient families and clinicians, and maintain outcomes.

PMID:34642111 | DOI:10.1016/j.jpurol.2021.09.024

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