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Keywords

outcomes, pressure injury, telehealth, virtual care, wound care, wound management

 

Authors

  1. Kostovich, Carol T. PhD, RN, CHSE
  2. Etingen, Bella PhD
  3. Wirth, Marissa MPH
  4. Patrianakos, Jamie MA
  5. Kartje, Rebecca MD, MS
  6. Baharestani, Mona PhD, APN, CWON, FACCWS
  7. Weaver, Frances M. PhD

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To synthesize the literature on delivering wound care via telehealth and compare clinical, healthcare utilization, and cost outcomes when wound care is provided via telehealth (telewound) modalities compared with in-person care.

 

DATA SOURCES: An electronic search of PubMed, CINAHL, and Cochrane Clinical Trials databases for articles published from 1999 to 2019 was conducted using the following MeSH search terms: telewound, wound, wound care, remote care, telehealth, telemedicine, eHealth, mobile health, pressure injury, and ulcer.

 

STUDY SELECTION: Articles were included if they were a scientific report of a single study; evaluated a telehealth method; identified the type of wound of focus; and provided data on clinical, healthcare utilization, or cost outcomes of telewound care. In total, 26 articles met these criteria.

 

DATA EXTRACTION: Data were extracted and grouped into 13 categories, including study design, wound type, telehealth modality, treatment intervention, and outcomes measured, among others.

 

DATA SYNTHESIS: Of the 26 studies, 19 reported on clinical outcomes including overall healing and healing time; 17 studies reported on healthcare utilization including hospitalizations and length of stay; and 12 studies reported costs.

 

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence regarding the use of telewound care is weak, and findings related to the impact of telewound care on outcomes are inconsistent but indicate that it is not inferior to in-person care. Greater use of telehealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic points to further development of navigation and education models of telehealth for wound care. However, additional studies using rigorous research design and leveraging robust sample sizes are needed to demonstrate value.