You are here

  1. Home
  2. Supporting communication of visit information to informal caregivers: A systematic review

Supporting communication of visit information to informal caregivers: A systematic review

Background: When caregivers cannot attend the clinic visit for the person they provide care for, patients are the predominant source of clinic visit information; however, poor patient recall inhibits the quality of information shared, resulting in poor caregiver preparedness and contributing to caregiver morbidity. Technological solutions exist to sharing clinic visit information, but their effectiveness is unclear. Objectives: To assess if and how technology is being used to connect informal caregivers to patient clinic visit information when they cannot otherwise attend, and its impact on caregiver and patient outcomes. Methods: Evidence review MEDLINE, Cochrane, Scopus, and CINAHL were searched through 5/3/2020 with no language restrictions or limits. and other reference lists were included in the search. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and nonrandomized trials that involved using a technological medium e.g., video or the electronic health record, to communicate visit information to a non-attending caregiver were included. Data were collected and screened using a standardized data collection form. Cochrane’s Risk of Bias 2.0 and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale were used for RCTs and nonrandomized trials, respectively. All data were abstracted by two independent reviewers, with disagreements resolved by a third reviewer. Findings: Of 2115 studies identified in the search, four met criteria for inclusion. Two studies were randomized controlled trials and two were nonrandomized trials. All four studies found positive effects of their intervention on caregiver outcomes of interest, and three out of four studies found statistically significant improvements in key outcomes for caregivers receiving visit information. Improved outcomes included caregiver happiness, caregiver activation, caregiver preparedness, and caregiver confidence in managing patient health. Conclusions and relevance: Our review suggests that using technology to give a caregiver access to clinical visit information could be beneficial to various caregiver outcomes. There is an urgent need to address the lack of research in this area.

Access source material through DOI
Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Publication Year
Issue Number
Journal Titles
Volume Number
Start Page