Review of Geriatric Telehealth Literature Shows Need for More Studies

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society systematically reviewed randomized controlled trial research published from 2012 to 2018 on the use of live-video telehealth services delivered to adults over the age of 65. The study provides an overview of the current state of telehealth research as it pertains to older populations and makes recommendations for further improving the research base.

Out of 1173 full-text reviews, only 17 studies were found to have been conducted as randomized control trials. The majority of those studies were conducted in the United States and only four studies focused on rural populations. Studies also tended to focus on chronic conditions and interventions that most often occurred in the patient’s home. Many of the studies showed either similar outcomes compared to a control group or focused on the acceptability, adherence and function associated with telehealth interventions. Other aspects of the studies varied greatly, including study length, outcome measures, intervention contact time, and the type of control group used.

According to the researchers, the results show that there is a need for high-quality studies on the impacts of telehealth interventions on older adults. The current research on the use of telehealth interventions among older adult populations shows mixed results that, according to the researchers, could be the result of bias or a misunderstanding of the technology by the older adult population. Additionally, of the studies considered to be of the highest quality, only one had a statistically significant sample size, while the others showed concerning sample sizes or were not sufficiently randomized.

For more information, read the full study online on Medscape