Impact of telehealth on the current and future practice of lipidology: a scoping review.
Schubert, TJ, Clegg, K, Karalis, D, Desai, NR, Marrs, JC, McNeal, C, Mintz, GL, Romagnoli, KM, Jones, LK
Journal of clinical lipidology. 2023;(1):40-54
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Telehealth services have been implemented to deliver care for patients living with many chronic conditions and have expanded greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known about the current or future impacts of telehealth on lipid management practices. The PubMed database was searched from inception to June 25, 2021, with the keywords "lipids or cholesterol" and "telehealth," which yielded 376 published articles. Telehealth was defined as a synchronous visit between a patient and clinician that replaced an in-office appointment. Studies that solely used remote monitoring, mobile health technologies, or callbacks of results, were excluded. Articles must have measured lipid values. Review articles and protocol papers were not included. After evaluation, 128 abstracts were included for full text evaluation, with 55 full-text articles eventually included. Of the articles, 29 were randomized clinical trials, 15 were pre-post evaluations, and 11 were other study designs. Telehealth had positive to neutral impacts on lipid management. Reported facilitators include easier implementation of multidisciplinary approaches to care, and utilization of patient-centered programs. Reported barriers to telehealth services include technological barriers, such as various skill levels with technology; systems barriers, such as cost and reimbursement; patient-related barriers, including patient non-adherence; and clinician-related barriers, such as difficulty standardizing care. Clinicians reported improved satisfaction among patients but had mixed feelings regarding their ability to deliver quality care. Telemedicine use to provide care for individuals with lipid conditions has expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, but more research is needed to determine its potential as a sustainable tool for lipid management.