The use of combined telemedicine interventions that include tele-case management or tele-consultation appear to be effective for asthma control and the improvement of patients’ quality of life (QoL), according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

The analysis included randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of telemedicine in adults with asthma, with the outcomes of interest being levels of asthma control and QoL. All randomized controlled trials that studied the effects of any type of telemedicine on asthma control and patient QoL were evaluated.

A total of 22 studies with 10,281 participants were included in the analysis. Overall, 11 studies explored the effects of single telemedicine and combined telemedicine (ie, combinations of telemedicine approaches).

The meta-analyses demonstrated that combined tele-case management and tele-consultation can significantly improve asthma control compared with usual care (standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.52; 95% CI, 0.13-0.91; P =.009). Combined tele-consultation (SMD, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.13-0.44; P <.001) was also associated with significantly improved asthma outcomes, but to a lesser degree.

Furthermore, combined tele-case management (SMD, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.31-0.88; P <.001) was the most effective telemedicine strategy for the improvement of QoL, followed by combined tele-case management and tele-consultation (SMD, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.03-0.59; P =.028), tele-case management (SMD, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.05-0.55; P =.018), and combined tele-consultation (SMD, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.11-0.43; P =.001), respectively.

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The investigators concluded that the findings of this review and meta-analysis provide healthcare professionals with current evidence on the positive effects of telemedicine on asthma control and patient QoL. Additional research is warranted to strengthen the findings from the current literature.

Reference

Chongmelaxme B, Huey Lee SW, Dhippayom T, Saokaew S, Chaiyakunapruk N, Dilokthornsakul P. The effects of telemedicine on asthma control and patients’ quality of life in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online July 25, 2018]. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2018.07.015