Adopting Telemedicine for the Self-Management of Hypertension: Systematic Review
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Background: Hypertension is a chronic condition that affects adults of all ages. In the United States, 1 in 3 adults has hypertension, and about half of the hypertensive population is adequately controlled. This costs the nation US $46 billion each year in health care services and medications required for treatment and missed workdays. Finding easier ways of managing this condition is key to successful treatment.
Objective: A solution to reduce visits to physicians for chronic conditions is to utilize telemedicine. Research is limited on the effects of utilizing telemedicine in health care facilities. There are potential benefits for implementing telemedicine programs with patients dealing with chronic conditions. The purpose of this review was to weigh the facilitators against the barriers for implementing telemedicine.
Methods: Searches were methodically conducted in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature Complete (CINAHL Complete) via Elton B Stephens Company (EBSCO) and PubMed (which queries MEDLINE) to collect information about self-management of hypertension through the use of telemedicine.
Results: Results identify facilitators and barriers corresponding to the implementation of self-management of hypertension using telemedicine. The most common facilitators include increased access, increase in health and quality, patient knowledge and involvement, technology growth with remote monitoring, cost-effectiveness, and increased convenience/ease. The most prevalent barriers include lack of evidence, self-management difficult to maintain, no long-term results/more areas to address, and long-term added workload commitment.
Conclusions: This review guides health care professionals in incorporating new practices and identifying the best methods to introduce telemedicine into their practices. Understanding the facilitators and barriers to implementation is important, as is understanding how these factors will impact a successful implementation of telemedicine in the area of self-management of hypertension.