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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25085

Title: Effectiveness of Telemonitoring in Obstetrics: Scoping Review
Authors: Lanssens, Dorien
Vandenberk, Thijs
Thijs, Inge M.
Grieten, Lars
Gyselaers, Wilfried
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH, 19(9), p. 1-12 (Art N° e327)
Abstract: Background: Despite reported positive results of telemonitoring effectiveness in various health care domains, this new technology is rarely used in prenatal care. A few isolated investigations were performed in the past years but with conflicting results. Objective: The aim of this review was to (1) assess whether telemonitoring adds any substantial benefit to this patient population and (2) identify research gaps in this area to suggest goals for future research. Methods: This review includes studies exploring the effectiveness of telemonitoring interventions for pregnant women reported in the English language. Due to the paucity of research in this area, all reports including uncontrolled nonrandomized and randomized controlled studies were selected. Results: Fourteen studies, which performed their data collection from 1988 to 2010, met the inclusion criteria and were published from 1995 to present; four of the 14 published papers were multicenter randomized controlled trials (RCTs), five papers were single-center RCTs, three papers were retrospective studies, one paper was an observational study, and one paper was a qualitative study. Of the 14 papers, nine were available for a risk of bias assessment: three papers were classified as low risk, one as medium risk, and five as high risk. Furthermore, of those 14 papers, 13 focused on telemonitoring for maternal outcomes, and nine of the 14 papers focused on telemonitoring for fetal or neonatal outcomes. The studies reviewed report that telemonitoring can contribute to significant reductions in health care costs, (unscheduled) face-to-face visits, low neonatal birth weight, and admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), as well as prolonged gestational age and improved feelings of maternal satisfaction when compared with a control group. When only studies with low risk of bias were taken into account, the added value of telemonitoring became less pronounced: the only added value of telemonitoring is for pregnant women who transmitted their uterine activity by telecommunication. They had significant prolonged pregnancy survivals, and the newborns were less likely to be of low birth weight or to be admitted to the NICU. Following these results, telemonitoring can only be recommended by pregnant women at risk for preterm delivery. It is however important to consider that these studies were published in the mid-90s, which limits their direct applicability given the current technologies and practice. Conclusions: This review shows that telemonitoring can be tentatively recommended for pregnant women at risk for preterm delivery. More recent RCTs with a blinded protocol are needed to strengthen the level of evidence around this topic and to have an insight in the added value of the technologies that are available nowadays. In addition, studies investigating patient satisfaction and economic effects in relation to telemonitoring are suggested for future research.
Notes: [Lanssens, Dorien; Vandenberk, Thijs; Thijs, Inge M.; Grieten, Lars; Gyselaers, Wilfried] Hasselt Univ, Mobile Hlth Unit, Fac Med & Life Sci, Hasselt, Belgium. [Lanssens, Dorien; Gyselaers, Wilfried] Ziekenhuis Oost Limburg, Dept Gynaecol, Schiepse Bos 6, B-3600 Genk, Belgium. [Thijs, Inge M.; Gyselaers, Wilfried] Hasselt Univ, Dept Physiol, Hasselt, Belgium.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25085
DOI: 10.2196/jmir.7266
ISI #: 000411844900002
ISSN: 1438-8871
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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