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).
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.
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).
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.