The Effectiveness of Telehealth In The Improving Glycemic Control Among Patients With Type Two Diabetes Mellitus During The Era Of The Covid-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Telemedicine, hyperglycaemia, Diabetes Mellitus, COVID-19, Systematic review
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is challenging for diabetic patients to personally visit their physicians. These challenges have encouraged the use of telehealth to communicate to their physicians. Studies have shown that there is an emerging interest in using telehealth for diabetic patients during pandemics. However, the findings from the published articles are not reviewed systematically. Therefore, a systematic review was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of telehealth in improving glycaemic control among patients with type two diabetes mellitus during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: An electronic systematic literature search was carried out using PubMed and CINAHL. All the studies focusing the impact of telemedicine or telehealth, conducted on people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and carried out during COVID-19 pandemic. The primary outcome was a change in glycaemic control assessed by HbA1c levels. Whereas the primary exposure or intervention was telehealth or telemedicine use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: Nine articles were incorporated into the review. The findings of the studies showed that seven out of nine studies have found that the HbA1c values improved significantly during the ≥ 6 months study period with p < 0.001. While two studies did not find any statistically significant results (p > 0.05) with no change in HbA1c values or glycaemic value in patients who use or not telemedicine facilities. The findings revealed that different telemedicine models such as remote consultations with physicians, video conferences, integrated virtual clinics, and phone calls with text messages were effective in improving glycaemic control as measured by the change in HbA1c levels.
Conclusion: Telemedicine or telehealth consultation is a feasible and effective source for attaining adequate glycaemic control during the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows for a remote and flexible approach to managing hyperglycaemia in diabetic patients, promote self-management in patients, thereby preventing them from the development of diabetic related complication.
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