The role of telemedicine in the management of inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic review protocol

Minerva Gastroenterol (Torino). 2021 Jun 1. doi: 10.23736/S2724-5985.21.02939-9.Online ahead of print.

Abby Saunders 1, Lee Hill 2, Jelena Popov 3 4, Mona Kalantar 3 4, Yasamin Farbod 4, Prachi Tewari 3, Usha Chauhan 4


Author information

  • 1Department of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
  • 2Department of Paediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada - hilll14@mcmaster.ca.
  • 3University College Cork, College of Medicine and Health, Cork, Ireland.
  • 4Hamilton Health Sciences, Adult Digestive Diseases, Hamilton, Canada.


Introduction: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is a chronic inflammatory condition with significant morbidity which requires lifelong follow-up with healthcare providers. Clinic visits, hospitalizations, surgical interventions, and medications impart notable physical, social, and financial challenges for patients. Furthermore, they place considerable strain on provider time and healthcare resources. Telemedicine has been gaining popularity for the cost and time savings achieved through remote patient monitoring. However, despite its widely reported success and acceptance, notable concerns have also emerged in its capacity to manage patients with varying degrees of disease activity, comorbid disabilities, and limitations to the access to technological services.

Evidence acquisition: We will search PubMed, Scopus, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Google Scholar databases using key terms to extract articles assessing telemedicine in IBD management. Articles published between January 2000 and May 2021 will be included. Two rounds of literature review using a three-step method will be performed. Risk of Bias assessment will be performed using Covidence, and quality assessment of selected articles will be done using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist.

Evidence synthesis: The results of the systematic review will consider the reported context in which telemedicine was used, its efficacy and acceptance among patients and practitioners.

Conclusions: Our study analyze the patient's satisfaction with telemedicine together with the feasibility of implementing and conducting this new approach. The implementation of this technology present important challenges for physicians and clinics, especially for the management of IBD.



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