The efficacy, challenges, and facilitators of telemedicine in post-treatment cancer survivorship care: an overview of systematic reviews

R. J. Chan, M. Crichton, F. Crawford-Williams, O. A. Agbejule, K. Yu, N. H. Hart, F. de Abreu Alves, F. D. Ashbury, L. Eng, M. Fitch, H. Jain, M. Jefford, D. Klemanski, B. Koczwara, K. Loh, M. Prasad, H. Rugo, E. Soto-Perez-de-Celis, C. van den Hurk, A. ChanMultinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) Survivorship Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Telemedicine services have been increasingly used to facilitate post-treatment cancer survivorship care, including improving access; monitoring health status, health behaviors, and symptom management; enhancing information exchange; and mitigating the costs of care delivery, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. To inform guidance for the use of telemedicine in the post-COVID era, the aim of this overview of systematic reviews (SRs) was to evaluate the efficacy of, and survivor engagement in, telemedicine interventions in the post-treatment survivorship phase, and to consider implementation barriers and facilitators. Methods: PubMed, Cochrane CENTRAL, CINAHL, Embase, and Web of Science databases were searched. SRs that examined the use of telemedicine in the post-treatment phase of cancer survivorship, published between January 2010 and April 2021, were included. Efficacy data were synthesized narratively. Implementation barriers and facilitators were synthesized using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Results: Twenty-nine SRs were included. A substantive body of evidence found telemedicine to benefit the management of psychosocial and physical effects, particularly for improving fatigue and cognitive function. There was a lack of evidence on the use of telemedicine in the prevention and surveillance for recurrences and new cancers as well as management of chronic medical conditions. This overview highlights a range of diverse barriers and facilitators at the patient, health service, and system levels. Conclusions: This review highlights the benefits of telemedicine in addressing psychosocial and physical effects, but not in other areas of post-treatment cancer survivorship care. This large review provides practical guidance for use of telemedicine in post-treatment survivorship care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1552-1570
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Volume32
Issue number12
Early online date9 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • cancer survivors
  • neoplasms
  • systematic review
  • telemedicine

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