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At my own pace, space, and place: a systematic review of qualitative studies of enablers and barriers to telehealth interventions for people with chronic pain

PainSci » bibliography » Fernandes et al 2021
Tags: healthcare

PainSci notes on Fernandes 2021:

What do people like about telehealth? Healthcare “at my own pace, space, and place.” Space and place seem a little redundant, but that is the catchy title of a new paper, a review of 21 studies of patient experiences with telehealth for aches and pains. Patients also liked being encouraged to do things for themselves.

On the other side of the ledger? Unfamiliar and glitchy tech, cold and impersonal service, and irrelevant content — like getting a support email that doesn’t even answer your question.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

ABSTRACT: Telehealth is a promising approach to support self-management with the potential to overcome geographical barriers. Understanding patient perspectives will identify practical challenges to delivering self-management strategies by telehealth. The aim of this study was to synthesize the perceptions of people with chronic musculoskeletal pain for engaging in interventions delivered using telehealth. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, LILACS, and PsycINFO databases. We included qualitative studies that explored perceptions or experiences or attitudes of people with chronic musculoskeletal pain engaging with telehealth. We assessed the methodological quality using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. Meta-synthesis was guided by a thematic synthesis approach. The level of confidence of review findings was assessed using the Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative Studies (GRADE-CERQual). Twenty-one studies were included (n = 429). Telehealth comprised web-based, videoconference-based, telephone-based, video-based, and smartphone app-based programs delivered solely or combined. Chronic musculoskeletal conditions included people with knee or hip osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, persistent pain (chronic joint pain or nonspecific chronic musculoskeletal pain), rheumatoid arthritis, and functional fatigue syndrome. The enablers for engaging in telehealth interventions were as follows: (1) "at my own pace, space, and place" and (2) empowered patient. Barriers to engaging in telehealth interventions were as follows: (1) impersonal, (2) technological challenges, (3) irrelevant content, and (4) limited digital (health) literacy. Telehealth interventions with well-designed interactive platforms, flexibility to fit patients' routine, and the broad availability of material may favor better engagement. Encouragement of self-efficacy is linked to successful telehealth-delivered self-management programs.

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