HumanInsight Telehealth Interventions in Head and Neck Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review
Cancer Nurs. 2022 Jun 30. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000001130. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Head and neck cancer (HNC) and its treatments often result in adverse effects that impair a patient's quality of life. Although intensive rehabilitative strategies can be used, their applicability can be limited due to patient-specific and socioeconomic barriers. Telehealth interventions represent a possible novel approach to increase access to these services and improve posttreatment quality of life in the HNC population.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this systematic review was to identify studies investigating telemedicine-based interventions for HNC patients to determine whether there is a consensus concerning the cost-effectiveness, clinical utility, and accessibility of this model for rehabilitation.
METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and CINAHL were used to identify literature without time limit for publication. A critical appraisal of individual sources was conducted by 2 reviewers. Sixteen studies met inclusion criteria.
RESULTS: Studies related to telehealth interventions in the HNC population are limited. Salient themes included feasibility of telehealth as an intervention, effects on self-management and knowledge, impact on quality of life, physical and psychiatric symptoms, and cost.
CONCLUSION: Although the current literature presents promising data, indicating that telehealth interventions may be both effective and cost-efficient in the management of HNC patients, more research is needed to definitively elucidate their role in management.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Telehealth interventions are valuable for clinicians as an alternative to expand access to care across the cancer continuum, to strengthen patients' knowledge and consequently their self-management, and to provide continuity of services as well as for remote monitoring of symptoms and response to treatment.
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