Can J Diabetes. 2021 Mar 5:S1499-2671(21)00064-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2021.02.007. Online ahead of print.
Our objective in this study was to answer the main research question: In patients with diabetes, does virtual care vs face-to-face care provide different clinical, patient and practitioner experience or quality outcomes? Articles (2012 to 2020) describing interventions using virtual care with the capability for 2-way, individualized interactions compared with usual care were included. Studies involving any patients with diabetes and outcomes of glycated hemoglobin (A1C), quality of care and/or patient or health-care practitioner experience were included. Systematic reviews, randomized controlled studies, quasi-experimental trials, implementation trials, observational studies and qualitative analyses were reviewed. MEDLINE and McMaster Health Evidence databases searched in June 2020 identified 59 articles. Virtual care, in particular telemonitoring, combined with a means of 2-way communications provided improvement in A1C similar or superior to usual care, with the strongest evidence for type 2 diabetes. Virtual care was generally acceptable to patients, who expressed satisfaction with their care. Health-care providers recognized benefits but raised issues of technical support, workflow and compensation.