Oregon found that replacing or supplementing face-to-face antenatal care with telemedicine generally produced similar, and in some cases better, outcomes compared to face-to-face care. Researchers at the University of Health Sciences have found.
Research published last week Annals of internal medicineafter the rapid spread of telemedicine during the coronavirus pandemic, doctors were suddenly relying on video or phone for all kinds of regular appointments.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the increased demand for telemedicine services we have seen over the past few years have placed us as clinicians in a unique position to re-evaluate and rethink how care is delivered. We can now do that,” said the lead author. Amy Cantor, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, OHSU School of Medicine. “The results of this study are encouraging because they show that telehealth has the potential to improve and expand health care options, especially in underserved communities and traditional For those who may face barriers to access to care.”
The health of mothers and their infants depends on access to quality maternal health care. Careful care during pregnancy enables providers to identify health conditions that may increase the risk of poor outcomes and provide opportunities for prevention and treatment of complications.
There is little evidence to support the idea that the conventional approach to maternal care, relying solely on face-to-face visits, is best. When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly limited access to in-person care, it offered physicians an opportunity to turn to telemedicine services and rethink how to properly deliver care. Given the disproportionately high maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States, as well as extreme health disparities, researchers are now exploring the use of telemedicine as a strategy to expand and improve maternal health care delivery. We are considering.
Cantor’s team conducted a rapid review that included 28 randomized controlled trials and 14 observational studies involving nearly 45,000 women. The aim was to understand the effects of telemedicine as a supplement or alternative to face-to-face maternal health care compared to face-to-face care alone on key health outcomes for pregnant adults, adolescents and their infants. did.
Researchers found that when telemedicine-provided care was used to complement or replace face-to-face maternity care services, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction were similar to, and in some cases better than, face-to-face care. also found to be superior.
In particular, the study found that telemedicine strategies hold particular promise for certain health services, such as treating postpartum depression and remotely monitoring conditions such as diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy. And for low-risk pregnancies, telemedicine may replace typical face-to-face obstetric care.
Despite the study’s encouraging results, Kanter said the impact of telemedicine on maternal access to care remains unclear, highlighting the continuing need to assess and improve health equity. Future research will explore the impact of telemedicine on vulnerable populations, such as those living in rural areas, to better understand the impact of telemedicine on health disparities, Cantor said. He said there is a need to focus on large-scale studies that assess outcomes based on population characteristics.
funds for this study Provided by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Institute (PROSPERO: CRD42021276347).