Impact of telehealth care among adults living with type 2 diabetes in primary care: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Primary health care physicians are increasingly offering telehealth services to patients not only for its cost and time saving advantages but for the additional benefits telehealth can provide for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) such as improved self-management behaviours. To support the development of telehealth based T2D clinical care models in primary health care settings, a narrative synthesis and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trial studies was completed for 29 studies that evaluated the effect of one or more types of telehealth interventions on HbA1c levels compared to usual care alone. Results from the random effects meta-analysis demonstrated that tele-health interventions had a stronger influence on HbA1c compared to usual care with a mean difference in HbA1c \% −0.18 (CI −0.35, −0.01), p = 0.04. Results from the subgroup meta-analysis demonstrated that telehealth interventions, when grouped by type of telemonitoring (mHealth and telephone communication), all have a stronger effect on lowering HbA1c levels; however, none of these findings were significant. Key findings from this review demonstrate that telehealth interventions that address T2D self-management behaviours and have higher levels of health care provider en-gagement, have greater effects on lowering HbA1c levels compared to usual care alone.
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