|The year 2020 has seen a tremendous increase in the number of people utilizing telehealth services. With Covid-19 still ravaging our social setup and the way we work, telemedicine may be the new way of accessing health care services without risking infection. It is safe because patients do not have to meet with their healthcare providers physically Telemedicine has been here for years now.
There is no doubt it’s the next best alternative in situations where the patient cannot meet with their healthcare provider. But, can this approach still be practical on patients with lung cancer? Let’s dive in and find out how it’s affecting these categories of patients.
A study from Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease that was conducted using the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL), among other scales, revealed that patients who received medicine via telemedicine generally had a higher quality of life compared to those on usual care. The study was conducted on 635 patients with lung cancer. Among the telemedicine options deployed was communication through phone and website.
Longer Follow-Up Time Equaled a Better Quality of Life
The researchers embarked on finding out if the follow-up time on telemedicine patients impacted their quality of life. The maximum follow-up duration was set at eight months. It was noted that patients on telemedicine with a longer follow-up time had a better quality of life. Even in the shortest follow-up times (less than three months), patients on telemedicine still had a better quality of life than their usual care counterparts.
The Type of Telemedicine Used Had an Impact
The patients were divided into smaller subgroups to find out which type of telemedicine bore the most benefits. Patients engaging in telephone communications were found to live a better life quality than those using web-based communication. The difference in the quality of life between patients on web-based communication and usual care was not significant.
Lower Depression and Anxiety Levels with Telemedicine
Four studies were carried out on patients regarding their level of anxiety. Patients on telemedicine showed better results compared to their counterparts on usual care. Depression levels were also lower in patients on telemedicine, according to 3 studies on 287 patients.
Telemedicine is an effective method of improving the quality of life in lung cancer patients. Even though the studies were carried out on a small number of patients with varying heterogeneity levels, it still proved to provide specific and unique benefits for an improved quality of life.