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Effects of Telephone Consultation on Safety, Service Use, Patient Satisfaction, and Workload: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials

Chair, Sek Ying, Chien, Wai Tong, Kendall, Sally, Zang, Yuli, Liu, Ting, Choi, Kai Chow (2024) Effects of Telephone Consultation on Safety, Service Use, Patient Satisfaction, and Workload: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials. Telemedicine and e-Health, . ISSN 1556-3669. (doi:10.1089/tmj.2023.0002) (KAR id:102674)


Objective: Telephone consultation (TC) is widely used for its easy access and convenience. This review aimed to assess the effects of TC including triage on safety, service use, patient satisfaction, and health professionals' workload to inform directions for future health service practice.

Methods: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, ProQuest Dissertation & Theses (Health & Medicine),, and International Clinical Trial Registry Platform were searched on April 7, 2022. The included were randomized controlled trials that compared TC with standard (face-to-face [F2F]) management or that by another group of call advisers. Cochrane methods were used to select eligible studies, assess the risk of bias, estimate summary effect measure, and grade evidence certainty. Meta-analysis was performed on important outcomes with moderate- or high-quality evidence.

Results: Eight studies were included involving 40,002 participants. TC could increase call resolution—proportion of callers' concerns being addressed by telephone advice alone (two studies; high certainty) and reduce F2F contacts with doctors for the first consultation (two studies, moderate certainty) compared with standard management or TC by doctors. None of included studies reported increases in adverse events, including all-cause mortality, acute and emergency department visit, and hospitalization. There was inadequate evidence regarding the effects of TC on patient satisfaction and length of consultation.

Conclusion: The findings support the benefits of TC on improving call resolution and reducing F2F contacts with doctors on the day of first management for regular day service; and TC by nurses can provide better effects than that by doctors for out-of-hours service.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1089/tmj.2023.0002
Uncontrolled keywords: Health Information Management, Health Informatics, General Medicine, General Medicine
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2023 15:21 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2024 14:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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