The Protective Impact of Telemedicine on Persons With Dementia and Their Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Social distancing under the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted access to community services for older adults with neurocognitive disorder (NCD) and their caregivers. Telehealth is a viable alternative to face-to-face service delivery. Telephone calls alone, however, may be insufficient. Here, we evaluated whether supplementary telehealth via video-conferencing platforms could bring additional benefits to care-recipient with NCD and their spousal caregivers at home. PARTICIPANTS:Sixty older adults NCD-and-caregiver dyads were recruited through an activity center. DESIGN, INTERVENTION:The impact of additional services delivered to both care-recipient and caregiver through video conference (n?=?30) was compared with telehealth targeted at caregivers by telephone only (n?=?30), over 4 weeks in a pretest-post-test design. Interviews and questionnaires were conducted at baseline and study's end. MEASUREMENTS, RESULTS:Supplementary telemedicine had averted the deterioration in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment evident in the telephone-only group (?p2?=?0.50). It also reversed the falling trend in quality of life observed in the telephone only group (QoL-AD, ?p2?=?0.23). Varying degrees of improvements in physical and mental health (Short-Form 36 v2), perceived burden (Zarit Burden Interview Scale) and self-efficacy (Revised Caregiving Self-Efficacy Scale) were observed among caregivers in the video-conferencing group, which were absent in the telephone-only group (?p2?=?0.23-0.51). CONCLUSION:Telemedicine by video conference was associated with improved resilience and wellbeing to both people with NCD and their caregivers at home. The benefits were visible already after 4 weeks and unmatched by telephone alone. Video conference as the modus operandi of telehmedicine beyond the context of pandemic-related social distancing should be considered.
Project description:PURPOSE:To discuss the effects of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 betacoronavirus on ambulatory ophthalmology practices, the value proposition of telemedicine, teleophthalmology implementation methodologies, and the accelerated future of telemedicine. DESIGN:Review of the current telehealth landscape including usage, policies, and techniques for ambulatory practice integration. METHODS:We provide author-initiated review of recent trends in telehealth, governmental recommendations for health care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a PubMed Central query for telemedicine in ophthalmology or teleophthalmology. In addition, the authors' comprehensive experience in telemedicine design and implementation is provided. RESULTS:We provide a summary describing the present state of telehealth, teleophthalmology modeling, care delivery, and the proposed impact of telehealth surges on the future of ophthalmology practice. CONCLUSION:Recent patient and provider interest in telemedicine, the relaxation of regulatory restrictions, increased remote care reimbursement, and ongoing social distancing practices compel many ophthalmologists to consider virtualizing services.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The number of published studies and systematic reviews examining different telehealth interventions targeting patients and their effects on patients' well-being and quality of life have grown in recent decades. However, the use of telemedicine tools aimed at the family members and caregivers of adult cancer patients is less defined. OBJECTIVE:We aimed to conduct a systematic review to provide a more complete picture regarding telemedicine tools for informal caregivers (usually family members or close friends) implemented in all phases of cancer care. More specifically, the review aimed to better describe the study samples' characteristics, to analyze measured outcomes and the specific questionnaires used to assess them, and to describe in depth the implemented interventions and their formats. Finally, we examined the role of telehealth, and usability and feasibility trends in supporting patients' caregivers. METHODS:We systematically searched the literature in the following databases: Web of Science, Cochrane Library, PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and PsycINFO. Inclusion criteria were being written in English, published in peer-reviewed journals, describing a telehealth-implemented intervention, and focusing on caregivers of adult cancer patients at any stage of the disease. We selected studies published up to November 2017. We critically appraised included articles using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and graded the quality of evidence by outcome using the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine framework. RESULTS:We included 24 studies in the final selection. In 21 of the 24 studies, the patient-caregiver dyad was analyzed, and the study population dealt with different types of cancer at different stages. Included studies considered the caregiver's condition from both an individual and a relational point of view. Along with psychosocial variables, some studies monitored engagement and user satisfaction regarding Web-based platforms or telehealth interventions. All studies reported significant improvements in some of the investigated areas, but they often showed small effect sizes. Two types of telehealth intervention formats were used: Web-based platforms and telephone calls. Some of the included studies referred to the same project, but on study samples with different cancer diagnoses or with new versions of previously developed interventions. CONCLUSIONS:Reported outcomes seem to suggest that we are in an exploratory phase. More detailed and targeted research hypotheses are still needed. Clarifying caregivers' needs related to telehealth tools and better defining outcome measures may yield more significant results.
Project description:Background and Objectives:The number of persons living with dementia (PLWD) in the United States will reach 16 million by 2050. Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia challenge family caregivers and contribute to negative caregiver outcomes such as burden and depression. Available technology can support the delivery of effective interventions to families providing dementia care at home. The Supporting Family Caregivers with Technology for Dementia Home Care (FamTechCare) randomized controlled trial evaluated the effects of a telehealth intervention on caregiver outcomes. Research Design and Methods:The FamTechCare intervention provides tailored dementia-care strategies to in-home caregivers based on video recordings caregivers submit of challenging care situations. An expert team reviews the videos and provides individualized interventions weekly for the experimental group. In the telephone-support attention control group, caregivers receive feedback from an interventionist via the telephone based on caregiver retrospective recall of care challenges. Effects of the intervention on caregiver outcomes, including burden, depression, sleep disturbance, competence, desire to institutionalize the PLWD, and caregiver reaction to behavioral symptoms were evaluated by fitting linear mixed regression models to changes in the outcomes measured at 1 and 3 months. Results:FamTechCare caregivers (n = 42) had greater reductions in depression (p = .012) and gains in competence (p = .033) after 3 months compared to the attention control group (n = 41). Living in rural areas was associated with a reduction in depression for FamTechCare caregivers (p = .002). Higher level of education was associated with greater improvements or lesser declines in burden, competence, and reaction to behavioral symptoms for both the FamTechCare and attention control caregivers. Discussion and Implications:This research demonstrated benefits of using available technology to link families to dementia care experts using video-recording technology. It provides a foundation for future research testing telehealth interventions, tailored based on rich contextual data to support families, including those in rural or remote locations.
Project description:Telehealth offers strategies to improve access to subspecialty care for children in rural communities. Rural pediatrician experiences and preferences regarding the use of these telehealth strategies for children's subspecialty care needs are not known. We elicited rural pediatrician experiences and preferences regarding different pediatric subspecialty telehealth strategies.Seventeen semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with rural pediatricians from 17 states within the United States. Interviewees were recruited by e-mails to a pediatric rural health listserv and to rural pediatricians identified through snowball sampling. Themes were identified through thematic analysis of interview transcripts. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.Rural pediatricians identified several telehealth strategies to improve access to subspecialty care, including physician access hotlines, remote electronic medical record access, electronic messaging systems, live video telemedicine, and telehealth triage systems. Rural pediatricians provided recommendations for optimizing the utility of each of these strategies based on their experiences with different systems. Rural pediatricians preferred specific telehealth strategies for specific clinical contexts, resulting in a proposed framework describing the complementary role of different telehealth strategies for pediatric subspecialty care. Finally, rural pediatricians identified additional benefits associated with the use of telehealth strategies and described a desire for telehealth systems that enhanced (rather than replaced) personal relationships between rural pediatricians and subspecialists.Rural pediatricians described complementary roles for different subspecialty care telehealth strategies. Additionally, rural pediatricians provided recommendations for optimizing individual telehealth strategies. Input from rural pediatricians will be crucial for optimizing specific telehealth strategies and designing effective telehealth systems.
Project description:Telemedicine is the use of electronic communication technology to facilitate healthcare between distant providers and patients. In addition to synchronous video conferencing, asynchronous video transfer has been used to support care for neurology patients. There is a growing literature on using telemedicine in movement disorders, with the most common focus on Parkinson's disease. There is accumulating evidence for videoconferencing to diagnose and treat patients with hyperkinetic movement disorders and to support providers in remote underserviced areas. Cognitive testing has been shown to be feasible remotely. Genetic counseling and other counseling-based therapeutic interventions have also successfully performed in hyperkinetic movement disorders. We use a problem-based approach to review the current evidence for the use of telemedicine in various hyperkinetic movement disorders. This Viewpoint attempts to identify possible telemedicine solutions as well as discussing unmet needs and future directions.
Project description:Purpose of review:The progressive nature of dementia requires ongoing care delivered by multidisciplinary teams, including rehabilitation professionals, that is individualized to patient and caregiver needs at various points on the disease trajectory. Video telehealth is a rapidly expanding model of care with the potential to expand dementia best practices by increasing the reach of dementia providers to flexible locations, including patients' homes. We review recent evidence for in-home video telehealth for patients with dementia and their caregivers with emphasis on implications for rehabilitation professionals. Recent findings:Eleven studies were identified that involved video visits into the home targeting patients with dementia and/or their family caregivers. The majority describe protocolized interventions targeting caregivers in a group format over a finite, pre-determined period. For most, the discipline of the interventionist was unclear, though two studies included rehabilitation interventions. While descriptions of utilized technology were often lacking, many reported that devices were issued to participants when needed, and that technical support was provided by study teams. Positive caregiver outcomes were noted but evidence for patient-level outcomes and cost data are mostly lacking. Summary:More research is needed to demonstrate implementation of dementia best care practices through in-home video telehealth. Though interventions delivered using in-home video telehealth appear to be effective at addressing caregivers' psychosocial concerns, the impact on patients and the implications for rehabilitation remain unclear. Larger, more systematic inquiries comparing in-home video telehealth to traditional visit formats are needed to better define best practices.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Video or telephone telemedicine can offer patients access to a clinician without arranging for transportation or spending time in a waiting room, but little is known about patient characteristics associated with choosing between telemedicine or office visits.<h4>Objective</h4>To examine patient characteristics associated with choosing a telemedicine visit vs office visit with the same primary care clinicians.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This cross-sectional study included data from 1?131?722 patients who scheduled a primary care appointment through the Kaiser Permanente Northern California patient portal between January 1, 2016, and May 31, 2018. All completed primary care appointments booked via the patient portal were identified. Only index visits without any other clinical visits within 7 days were included to define a relatively distinct patient-initiated care-seeking episode. Visits for routine physical, which are not telemedicine-eligible, were excluded. Data were analyzed from July 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Patient choice between an office, video, or telephone visit. Relative risk ratios (RRRs) for patient sociodemographic characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, neighborhood socioeconomic status, language preference), technology access (neighborhood residential internet, mobile portal use), visiting the patient's own personal primary care clinician, and in-person visit barriers (travel-time, parking, cost-sharing), associated with choice of video or telephone telemedicine (vs office visit).<h4>Results</h4>Of 2?178?440 patient-scheduled primary care visits scheduled by 1?131?722 patients, 86% were scheduled as office visits and 14% as telemedicine visits, with 7% of the telemedicine visits by video. Choosing telemedicine was statistically significantly associated with patient sociodemographic characteristics. For example, patients aged 65 years and over were less likely than patients aged 18 to 44 years to choose telemedicine (RRR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.22-0.26 for video visit; RRR 0.55; 95% CI, 0.54-0.57 for telephone visit). Choosing telemedicine was also statistically significantly associated with technology access (patients living in a neighborhood with high rates of residential internet access were more likely to choose a video visit than patients whose neighborhoods had low internet access: RRR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.06-1.14); as well as in-person visit barriers (patients whose clinic had a paid parking structure were more likely to choose a telemedicine visit than patients whose facility had free parking: RRR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.41-2.05 for video visit; and RRR, 1.73, 95% CI, 1.61-1.86 for telephone visit).<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>In this cross-sectional study, patients usually chose an in-person visit when scheduling an appointment online through the portal. Telemedicine may offer the potential to reach vulnerable patient groups and improve access for patients with transportation, parking, or cost barriers to clinic visits.
Project description:COVID-19 has generated a global need for technologies that enable communication, collaboration, education and scientific discourse whilst maintaining physical distance. University closures due to COVID-19 and physical distancing measures disrupt academic activities that previously occurred face-to-face. Restrictions placed on universities due to COVID-19 have precluded most conventional forms of education, assessment, research and scientific discourse. Anatomists now require valid, robust and easy-to-use communication tools to facilitate remote teaching, learning and research. Recent advances in communication, video conferencing and digital technologies may facilitate continuity of teaching and research activities. Examples include highly-interactive video conferencing technology, collaborative tools, social media and networking platforms. In this narrative review, we examine the utility of these technologies in supporting effective communication and professional activities of anatomists during COVID-19 and after.
Project description:Much of the existing research on shared decision-making in hospice and palliative care focuses on the provider-patient dyad; little is known about shared decision-making that is inclusive of family members of patients with advanced disease.We sought to describe shared decision-making as it occurred in hospice interdisciplinary team meetings that included family caregivers as participants using video-conferencing technology.We conducted a multimethod study in which we used content and thematic analysis techniques to analyze video-recordings of hospice interdisciplinary team meetings (n?=?100), individual interviews of family caregivers (n?=?73) and hospice staff members (n?=?78), and research field notes.Participants in the original studies from which data for this analysis were drawn were hospice family caregivers and staff members employed by one of five different community-based hospice agencies located in the Midwestern United States.Shared decision-making occurred infrequently in hospice interdisciplinary team meetings that included family caregivers. Barriers to shared decision-making included time constraints, communication skill deficits, unaddressed emotional needs, staff absences, and unclear role expectations. The hospice philosophy of care, current trends in healthcare delivery, the interdisciplinary nature of hospice teams, and the designation of a team leader/facilitator supported shared decision-making.The involvement of family caregivers in hospice interdisciplinary team meetings using video-conferencing technology creates a useful platform for shared decision-making; however, steps must be taken to transform family caregivers from meeting attendees to shared decision-makers.
Project description:Purpose:Few evidence-based strategies are specifically tailored for disparity populations such as rural adults. Two-way video-conferencing using telemedicine can potentially surmount geographic barriers that impede participation in high-intensity treatment programs offering frequent visits to clinic facilities. We aimed to understand barriers and facilitators of implementing a telemedicine-delivered tertiary-care, rural academic weight-loss program for the management of obesity. Methods:A single-arm study of a 16-week, weight-loss pilot evaluated barriers and facilitators to program participation and exploratory measures of program adoption and staff confidence in implementation and intervention delivery. A program was delivered using video-conferencing within an existing clinical infrastructure. Elements of Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) provided a basis for assessing intervention characteristics, inner and outer settings, and individual characteristics using surveys and semi-structured interviews. We evaluated elements of the RE-AIM model (reach, adoption) to assess staff barriers to success for future scalability. Findings:There were 27 patients and 8 staff completing measures. Using CFIR, the intervention was valuable from a patient participant standpoint; staff equally had positive feelings about using telemedicine as useful for patient care. The RE-AIM framework demonstrated limited reach but willingness to adopt was above average. A significant barrier limiting sustainability was physical space for intervention delivery and privacy and dedicated resources for staff. Scheduling stressors were also a challenge in its implementation. Conclusions:The need to engage staff, enhance organizational culture, and increase reach are major factors for rural health obesity clinics to enhance sustainability of using telemedicine for the management of obesity. Trial registration:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03309787. Registered on 16 October 2017.