Telehealth May Aid Obstetric Outcomes
Benefits seen for perinatal smoking cessation, breastfeeding, early access to medical abortion services
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Telehealth interventions are associated with improvements in obstetric outcomes, according to a review published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Nathaniel DeNicola, M.D., from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies evaluating the effectiveness of telehealth interventions for improving obstetric and gynecologic health outcomes.
Based on 47 studies (31,967 participants), the researchers found that telehealth interventions overall improved obstetric outcomes related to smoking cessation and breastfeeding. Telehealth interventions lessened the need for high-risk obstetric monitoring office visits, while maintaining maternal and fetal outcomes. Additionally, telehealth interventions were effective for continuation of oral and injectable contraception. Clinical outcomes were similar for telehealth provision of medication abortion services versus in-person care and further improved access to early abortion. Few studies showed utility for telehealth to improve notification of sexually transmitted infection test results.
"Establishing evidence-based practices in this emerging dimension of health care delivery is important to mitigate potential health risks and costs that could be associated with rapid adoption of new technologies that have not been adequately studied," DeNicola said in a statement.