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Telehealth interventions in patients with chronic liver diseases: A systematic review.

Muftah AA, Banala C, Raasikh T, Jamali T, Bustamante G, Cholankeril G, Kanwal F, Flores A, Hernaez R. Telehealth interventions in patients with chronic liver diseases: A systematic review. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.). 2023 Jul 1; 78(1):179-194.

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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Telehealth interventions may improve access to care, disease-specific, and quality outcomes in chronic liver diseases (CLDs). We aimed to systematically evaluate outcomes of telehealth interventions in CLDs. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used key terms and searched PubMed/EMBASE from inception to January 10, 2022. Two authors independently screened abstracts. Disagreements were resolved by a third reviewer. We included any type of CLD, including posttransplant patients, and extracted outcomes as defined by authors for each etiology of CLD (sustained virological response in HCV or weight loss in NAFLD). Meta-analysis was not performed because of the heterogeneity of data. Quality assessment was performed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for observational studies and the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool for clinical trials. RESULTS: Of 4250 studies screened, 43 met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 28 reported HCV treatment outcomes. All studies showed no statistically significant differences between sustained virological response rates in TH groups compared with control groups or historic cohorts. Eight studies evaluating liver transplant-related processes and outcomes demonstrated improved rates of transplant evaluation and referrals and decreased short-term readmission rates. Three randomized controlled trials and 1 observational study on NAFLD showed improved weight loss outcomes. One retrospective study showed reduced mortality risk in CLD patients with at least 1 TH encounter. CONCLUSIONS: TH interventions in patients with CLDs consistently show equivalent or improved clinical outcomes compared with traditional encounters. TH in CLDs can bridge the gap in access while maintaining the quality of care for underserved populations.

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