A systematic review of telehealth tools and interventions to support family caregivers

J Telemed Telecare. 2015 Jan;21(1):37-44. doi: 10.1177/1357633X14562734. Epub 2014 Dec 4.


We conducted a systematic review of studies employing telehealth interventions which focused on family caregivers' outcomes. The Embase, CINHAL, Cochrane and PubMed databases were searched using combinations of keywords including "telehealth," "telemedicine," "telecare," "telemonitoring," "caregiver" and "family." The initial search produced 4205 articles, of which 65 articles met the inclusion criteria. The articles included 52 experimental studies, 11 evaluation studies, one case study and one secondary analysis. Thirty-three articles focused on family caregivers of adult and older patients, while 32 articles focused on parental caregivers of paediatric patients. The technologies included video, web-based, telephone-based and telemetry/remote monitoring. Six main categories of interventions were delivered via technology: education, consultation (including decision support), psychosocial/cognitive behavioural therapy (including problem solving training), social support, data collection and monitoring, and clinical care delivery. More than 95% of the studies reported significant improvements in the caregivers' outcomes and that caregivers were satisfied and comfortable with telehealth. The review showed that telehealth can positively affect chronic disease care, home and hospice care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers*
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods
  • Counseling / methods
  • Family
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Social Support
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemetry / methods