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Effectiveness of telemedicine-based psychosocial intervention for breast cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Supportive Care in Cancer Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Objectives

This review aimed to synthesize the available evidence on the effectiveness of telemedicine-based psychosocial interventions among breast cancer (BC) patients regarding quality of life (QOL), depression, anxiety, distress, fatigue, sleep disorders, sexual function, and fear of cancer recurrence (FCR).

Methods

A search of 10 databases was conducted to identify RCTs of the effects of telemedicine-based psychosocial interventions on outcomes. Selection of studies, quality appraisal, and data extraction were performed by two reviewers independently. GRADE and Cochrane risk of bias assessment tools were used for quality appraisal. Heterogeneity was determined by I2, standardized mean differences (SMD) were used to determine intervention effects, and meta-analyses, subgroup analysis, and sensitivity analysis were performed.

Results

In total, 29 RCTs were included. Telemedicine-based psychosocial interventions improved the primary outcomes of QOL (SMD = 0.32), distress (SMD =  − 0.22), and anxiety (SMD =  − 0.16) in BC patients with moderate effect size. There were some improvements in the secondary outcomes of sleep disorders (SMD =  − 056), sexual function (SMD = 0.19), and FCR (SMD =  − 0.41). After sensitivity analysis, the effect size of fatigue was moderate (SMD =  − 0.24).

Conclusion

Telemedicine-based psychosocial interventions are superior to usual care in BC patients with improved QOL, sexual function, and less distress, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disorders, and FCR. Due to the heterogeneity of the results for QOL, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and FCR, these results should be interpreted cautiously. In the future, more rigorous RCTs need to be designed to identify better delivery models and intervention times to further test their effectiveness.

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Data availability

Full disclosure, as seen in the supplementary material in the appendix.

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Funding

This work was supported by the Nursing Project of Superior Discipline Construction in Jiangsu Universities (szbf [2018] No. 87), and Nursing Science, a Key Discipline Project of Jiangsu Province during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (sjy [2016] No. 9).

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ZM and YS contributed equally to this work. ZM and YS have made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; SY and NL have critically drafted the important intellectual content of the article; FC approved the version to be published and all subsequent versions.

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Correspondence to Fang Cheng.

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Ma, Z., Shi, Y., Yao, S. et al. Effectiveness of telemedicine-based psychosocial intervention for breast cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Support Care Cancer 31, 595 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-023-08052-3

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