Education and training to support the use of clinical telehealth: A review of the literature.

Authors: Edirippulige S, Armfield NR


J Telemed Telecare. 2017 Feb;23(2):273-282

Introduction Despite a growing literature base, substantial investment, and policy changes within governments, the integration of telehealth into routine clinical care has been limited. The availability of appropriate systematic education and training for practitioners has been highlighted as necessary for strong adoption. However, the availability and nature of telehealth-related education and training for practitioners is not understood. By reviewing the literature, we aimed to describe the delivery of education and training in telehealth, with particular focus on content, modes of delivery, types of institutions, and target clinician groups. Methods We performed searches using PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library, and ERIC. We included studies that were focused on the delivery of telehealth-related academic or vocational education and training. We extracted information pertaining to country, programs and their participants, and tabulated the results. Results Altogether 388 articles were identified, of which nine studies were selected for final review. Programs from five countries were represented and articles were spread across telemedicine and clinically oriented journals. Education and training in telehealth has been provided as both university level and vocational courses using conventional classroom based delivery methods and e-learning. Reported curriculum items included terminology, clinical applications, the evidence-base, and technological aspects. Conclusions Published evidence in peer-reviewed literature on telehealth education and training is limited. According to this review, a number of topics relating to telehealth have been covered by existing education programs both within tertiary and professional development levels.



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