Introduction: Approximately 26 million people in the United Kingdom are living with one long-term condition and 10 million are living with two or more; these figures are projected to continue increasing (NHS England 2018). People with long-term conditions are two to three times more likely to have poor psychological wellbeing and utilise 50% of GP appointments, 64% of outpatient appointments and over 70 of inpatient bed days. Research in this population could help with increasing constraints on healthcare budgets and resources. Technology-enabled healthcare in the community might help improve quality of life and reduce healthcare costs of managing chronic disease but the overall impact is unclear, we therefore conducted a systematic review. Methods: Keywords and MeSH terms were used to search MEDLINE and CINAHL. We included qualitative and quantitative studies that reported on adult home-care patients diagnosed with at least one long-term condition, comparing telehealth to usual home care. Meta-analyses and sensitivity analyses were conducted using RevMan 5. Qualitative findings were thematically synthesised and reported narratively. Results: In total, 2568 studies were identified and nine (2611 participants) were included. Telehealth was not statistically significantly different versus standard home care for quality of life, psychological wellbeing, physical function, anxiety, depression, disease specific outcomes or bed days of care at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Qualitative findings showed patients found telehealth was beneficial for providing peace of mind and legitimising access to healthcare. Conclusion: Telehealth may offer reassurance to those living in the community with long-term conditions; however, a lack of high-quality studies and heterogeneity between interventions makes conclusions difficult.
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- home telecare