Publication date: Jul 08, 2023
Telehealth allows patients to maintain contact with healthcare providers without necessitating travel, and is becoming increasingly utilized. The purpose of this study is to describe the components of telehealth palliative care interventions for patients with advanced cancer before the COVID-19 pandemic; identify any intervention components associated with improvements in outcomes; and evaluate reporting of interventions. This scoping review was registered on the Open Science Framework. We searched 5 medical databases from inception to June 19, 2020. Inclusion criteria were: age ≥ 18, advanced cancer, asynchronous or synchronous telehealth intervention, and specialized palliative care interventions in any setting. We assessed the quality of intervention reporting using the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist. Twenty-three studies met the inclusion criteria: 15 (65%) quantitative (7 randomized controlled trials, 5 feasibility trials, 3 retrospective chart reviews); 4 (17%) mixed methods, and 4 (17%) qualitative. Most quantitative and mixed methods studies were conducted in North America (12/19, 63%), reported on hybrid (in-person and telehealth) interventions (9/19, 47%), and were delivered by nurses (12/19, 63%) in the home setting (14/19, 74%). In most studies that reported improvements in patient- or caregiver-reported outcomes, the content was psychoeducational and resulted in improvements for psychological symptoms. No study provided complete reporting on all 12 TIDieR checklist items. Telehealth studies are needed that reflect palliative care’s mission to provide multidisciplinary team-based care that improves quality of life in diverse settings, and that provide detailed reporting of interventions.