Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Clinical trials that explored patient satisfaction with telemedicine were included regardless of sample size or methodology. Reviews and discussion papers were excluded.
Specific interventions included in the review
Teleconsultations were studied, specifically those between healthcare providers (from any discipline) and patients that involved the use of real time interactive video. The following types of teleconsultation: psychiatry (child and adult); dermatology; multispeciality; emergency medicine; oncology; hospice; family practice consultations; primary care consultations; otolaryngology; diagnosis of speech and language disorders; home health care; home nursing; orthopaedic consultations; and patients with Parkinsons disease.
Telecommunication technologies in which the primary purpose was educational or administrative were excluded.
Participants included in the review
Patients and providers who were physically present at either point of care were included. Participants included consecutive referrals, convenience samples and volunteers with some studies not specifying selection criteria.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The main outcome was the quality of evidence about patient satisfaction, principally overall satisfaction with the telemedicine service but also including levels of satisfaction with communication via this medium, telemedicine consultations compared with face to face traditional consultations, and technical performance and patients' willingness to use telemedicine in future.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Titles and abstracts of identified studies were read to determine potential eligibility. Full articles were then assessed for relevance. The authors do not state how many reviewers performed the selection.