Video visit instead of face-to-face visit in primary care

The increased access to smart phones, tablets, and computers, which enables real-time video communication, has changed the way patients and professionals can interact within primary care. The development of different digital health care services has been rapid in recent years, both on the private health care market, as well as in the public health care regions in Sweden. In the wake of the covid-19 pandemic there has also been an increased demand for and supply of more digital services within the health care sector.


What systematic reviews or scientific studies are there on video conference compared to face-to-face visits in primary care, in terms of diagnostics and treatments?

Identified literature

No relevant systematic review was identified but 87 primary studies (controlled clinical trials) were identified [1-87]. The primary studies were not assessed for risk of bias.


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  29. Greenhalgh T, Shaw S, Wherton J, Vijayaraghavan S, Morris J, Bhattacharya S, et al. Real-World Implementation of Video Outpatient Consultations at Macro, Meso, and Micro Levels: mixed-Method Study. Journal of medical internet research. 2018;20(4):e150‐.
  30. Grosch MC, Weiner MF, Hynan LS, Shore J, Cullum CM. Video teleconference-based neurocognitive screening in geropsychiatry. Psychiatry Research. 2015;225(3):734-5.
  31. Hammersley V, Donaghy E, Parker R, McNeilly H, Atherton H, Bikker A, et al. Comparing the content and quality of video, telephone, and face-to-face consultations: a non-randomised, quasi-experimental, exploratory study in UK primary care. British journal of general practice. 2019.
  32. Harris MA, Freeman KA, Duke DC. Seeing is believing: Using Skype to Improve Diabetes Outcomes in Youth. Diabetes Care. 2015;38(8):1427-34.
  33. Hasan SS, Pearson JS, morris J, Whorwell PJ. SKYPE HYPNOTHERAPY FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Effectiveness and Comparison with Face-to-Face Treatment. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 2019;67(1):69-80.
  34. Hilyard A, Kingsley J, Sommerfield D, Taylor S, Bear N, Gibson N. Feasibility of a randomized controlled trial of paediatric interdisciplinary pain management using home-based telehealth. Journal of pain research. 2020;13:897‐908.
  35. Himle MB, Freitag M, Walther M, Franklin SA, Ely L, Woods DW. A randomized pilot trial comparing videoconference versus face-to-face delivery of behavior therapy for childhood tic disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2012;50(9):565-70.
  36. Hwang R, Bruning J, Morris NR, rusiak A, Russell T. Home-based telerehabilitation is not inferior to a centre-based program in patients with chronic heart failure: a randomised trial. Journal of physiotherapy. 2017;63(2):101‐7.
  37. Iiboshi K, Yoshida K, Yamaoka Y, Eguchi Y, Sato D, Kishimoto M, et al. A Validation Study of the Remotely Administered Montreal Cognitive Assessment Tool in the Elderly Japanese Population. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2020;26(7):920-8.
  38. Isetta V, León C, Embid C, De La Peña M, Cambrodí R, Puertas FJ, et al. Telemedicine-based strategy for sleep apnea management: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. European respiratory journal. 2014;44.
  39. Isetta V, Leon C, Embid C, Duran-Cantolla J, Campos-Rodriguez F, Galdeano M, et al. Telemedicine-based strategy in the management of sleep apnea: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. 2014;189.
  40. Isetta V, Leon C, Torres M, Embid C, Roca J, Navajas D, et al. Telemedicine-based approach for obstructive sleep apnea management: building evidence. Interactive journal of medical research. 2014;3(1):e6.
  41. Jeong JY, Jeon J-H, Bae K-H, Choi Y-K, Park K-G, Kim J-G, et al. Smart Care Based on Telemonitoring and Telemedicine for Type 2 Diabetes Care: Multi-Center Randomized Controlled Trial. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2018;24(8):604-13.
  42. Jiang B, Bills M, Poon P. Integrated telehealth-assisted home-based specialist palliative care in rural Australia: A feasibility study. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2020:1357633X20966466.
  43. Johnson KE, Alencar MK, Coakley KE, Swift DL, Cole NH, Mermier CM, et al. Telemedicine-Based Health Coaching Is Effective for Inducing Weight Loss and Improving Metabolic Markers. Telemedicine journal and e-health. 2019;25(2):85‐92.
  44. Johnson KL, Dumkow LE, Salvati LA, Johnson KM, Yee MA, Egwuatu NE. Comparison of diagnosis and prescribing practices between virtual visits and office visits for adults diagnosed with uncomplicated urinary tract infections within a primary care network. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2020.
  45. Johnson KM, Dumkow LE, Burns KW, Yee MA, Egwuatu NE. Comparison of Diagnosis and Prescribing Practices between Virtual Visits and Office Visits for Adults Diagnosed with Sinusitis Within a Primary Care Network. Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 2019;6(9).
  46. Laver K, Liu E, Clemson L, Davies O, Gray L, Gitlin LN, et al. Does Telehealth Delivery of a Dyadic Dementia Care Program Provide a Noninferior Alternative to Face-To-Face Delivery of the Same Program? A Randomized, Controlled Trial. American journal of geriatric psychiatry. 2020.
  47. Lawson DW, Stolwyk RJ, Ponsford JL, McKenzie DP, Downing MG, Wong D. Telehealth Delivery of Memory Rehabilitation Following Stroke. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS. 2020;26(1):58-71.
  48. Maddison R, Rawstorn JC, Stewart RAH, Benatar J, Whittaker R, Rolleston A, et al. Effects and costs of real-time cardiac telerehabilitation: Randomised controlled non-inferiority trial. Heart. 2019;105(2):122-9.
  49. Marchell R, Locatis C, Burgess G, Maisiak R, Liu W-L, Ackerman M. Patient and Provider Satisfaction with Teledermatology. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2017;23(8):684-90.
  50. McGrail KM, Ahuja MA, Leaver CA. Virtual Visits and Patient-Centered Care: Results of a Patient Survey and Observational Study. Journal of medical Internet research. 2017;19(5):e177.
  51. Miller LE, Bhattacharyya N. Antibiotic Prescribing for Acute Rhinosinusitis: In-Person Versus Virtual Visits During Covid-19. Laryngoscope. 2020.
  52. Moffet H, Tousignant M, Nadeau S, Mérette C, Boissy P, Corriveau H, et al. In-Home Telerehabilitation Compared with Face-to-Face Rehabilitation After Total Knee Arthroplasty: a Noninferiority Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of bone and joint surgery American volume. 2015;97(14):1129‐41.
  53. Morriss R, Patel S, Malins S, Guo B, Higton F, James M, et al. Clinical and economic outcomes of remotely delivered cognitive behaviour therapy versus treatment as usual for repeat unscheduled care users with severe health anxiety: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. BMC medicine. 2019;17(1):16.
  54. Munro Cullum C, Hynan LS, Grosch M, Parikh M, Weiner MF. Teleneuropsychology: evidence for video teleconference-based neuropsychological assessment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS. 2014;20(10):1028-33.
  55. Müller KI, Alstadhaug KB, Bekkelund SI. Acceptability, feasibility, and cost of telemedicine for nonacute headaches: A randomized study comparing video and traditional consultations. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2016;18(5).
  56. Müller KI, Alstadhaug KB, Bekkelund SI. Telemedicine in the management of non-acute headaches: A prospective, open-labelled non-inferiority, randomised clinical trial. Cephalalgia. 2017;37(9):855-63.
  57. Netter A-L, Hessler JB, Diedrich A, Lehr D, Berking M, Pfeuffer S, et al. Usability and Naturalness of Videoconference-Based Exposure and Response Prevention for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder at the Patients' Homes: A Pilot Study. Journal of cognitive psychotherapy. 2018;32(4):303-14.
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  59. Palacín-Marín F, Esteban-Moreno B, Olea N, Herrera-Viedma E, Arroyo-Morales M. Agreement between telerehabilitation and face-to-face clinical outcome assessments for low back pain in primary care. Spine. 2013;38(11):947-52.
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  63. Piqueras M, Marco E, Coll M, Escalada F, Ballester A, Cinca C, et al. Effectiveness of an interactive virtual telerehabilitation system in patients after total knee arthoplasty: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of rehabilitation medicine. 2013;45(4):392‐6.
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  67. Reynolds GO, Saint-Hilaire M, Thomas CA, Barlow DH, Cronin-Golomb A. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety in Parkinson's Disease. Behavior modification. 2020;44(4):552-79.
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  69. Russell TG, Hoffmann TC, Nelson M, Thompson L, Vincent A. Internet-based physical assessment of people with Parkinson disease is accurate and reliable: A pilot study. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. 2013;50(5):643-50.
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  71. Sood A, Watts SA, Johnson JK, Hirth S, Aron DC. Telemedicine consultation for patients with diabetes mellitus: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2018;24(6):385‐91.
  72. Stahl JE, Dixon RF. Acceptability and willingness to pay for primary care videoconferencing: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2010;16(3):147‐51.
  73. Steele L, Lade H, McKenzie S, Russell TG. Assessment and diagnosis of musculoskeletal shoulder disorders over the internet. International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications. 2012.
  74. Stillerova T, Liddle J, Gustafsson L, Lamont R, Silburn P. Could everyday technology improve access to assessments? A pilot study on the feasibility of screening cognition in people with Parkinson's disease using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment via Internet videoconferencing. Australian occupational therapy journal. 2016;63(6):373-80.
  75. Temple V, Drummond C, Valiquette S, Jozsvai E. A comparison of intellectual assessments over video conferencing and in-person for individuals with ID: Preliminary data. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 2010;54(6):573-7.
  76. Thurah A, Steengaard-Pedersen K, Axelsen M, Fredberg U, Schougaard LMV, Hjollund NHI, et al. A TELE-health follow-up strategy for tight control of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis: results of the non-inferiority randomised controlled trail (the Tera study). Annals of the rheumatic diseases. 2017;76:454‐5.
  77. Tousignant M, Moffet H, Boissy P, Corriveau H, Cabana F, Marquis F. A randomized controlled trial of home telerehabilitation for post-knee arthroplasty. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2011;17(4):195‐8.
  78. Turner J, Berlinski A, Chervinskiy S, Simmons L, Jones S, Carroll J, et al. Telehealth Enhanced Asthma Management (TEAM). Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 2020;145(2):AB162‐.
  79. Wadsworth HE, Dhima K, Womack KB, Hart J, Weiner MF, Hynan LS, et al. Validity of Teleneuropsychological Assessment in Older Patients with Cognitive Disorders. Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists. 2018;33(8):1040-5.
  80. Wakefield BJ, Holman JE, Ray A, Scherubel M, Adams MR, Hills SL, et al. Outcomes of a home telehealth intervention for patients with diabetes and hypertension. Telemedicine journal and e-health. 2012;18(8):575‐9.
  81. Watts S, Marchand A, Bouchard S, Gosselin P, Langlois F, Belleville G, et al. Telepsychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder: impact on the working alliance. Journal of psychotherapy integration. 2020;30(2):208‐25.
  82. Wickstrom HL, Oien RF, Fagerstrom C, Anderberg P, Jakobsson U, Midlov PJ. Comparing video consultation with inperson assessment for Swedish patients with hard-to-heal ulcers: registry-based studies of healing time and of waiting time. BMJ open. 2018;8(2):e017623.
  83. Wickström H, Öien RF, Midlöv P, Anderberg P, Fagerström C. Pain and analgaesics in patients with hard-To-heal ulcers: Using telemedicine or standard consultations. Journal of Wound Care. 2020;29:S18-S27.
  84. Wong L, Martin-Khan M, Rowl, J, Varghese P, Gray LC. The Rowland universal dementia assessment scale (RUDAS) as a reliable screening tool for dementia when administered via videoconferencing in elderly post-acute hospital patients. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 2012;18(3):176-9.
  85. Woolf C, Caute A, Haigh Z, Galliers J, Wilson S, Kessie A, et al. A comparison of remote therapy, face to face therapy and an attention control intervention for people with aphasia: a quasi-randomised controlled feasibility study. Clinical rehabilitation. 2016;30(4):359‐73.
  86. Yatabe J, Yatabe M, Sonoo T, Kasuga H, Morimoto S, Ichihara A. Randomized, prospective trial of hypertension telemedicine through home blood pressure monitoring and video conferencing: interim report of poatrand trial. Journal of hypertension. 2018;36:e175‐.
  87. Yoshida K, Yamaoka Y, Eguchi Y, Sato D, Iiboshi K, Kishimoto M, et al. Remote neuropsychological assessment of elderly Japanese population using the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale: A validation study. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2020;26(7):482-7.

SBU Enquiry Service Consists of structured literature searches to highlight studies that can address questions received by the SBU Enquiry Service from Swedish healthcare or social service providers. We assess the risk of bias in systematic reviews and when needed also quality and transferability of results in health economic studies. Relevant references are compiled by an SBU staff member, in consultation with an external expert when needed.

Published: 6/3/2021
Report no: ut202111
Registration no: SBU 2020/799