Human Connection and Technology Connectivity: A Systematic Review of Available Telehealth Survey Instruments

Meaghann S. Weaver, Joe Lukowski, Brittany Wichman, Hema Navaneethan, Alfred L. Fisher, Marie L. Neumann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Context: The current upsurge in telehealth use in palliative and hospice care warrants consideration of patient, family caregiver, and interdisciplinary palliative perspectives on telehealth modality and communication experiences. Currently, telehealth experiences and encounters are being described but not yet extensively evaluated by palliative care teams. Objectives: To locate survey instruments available to assess telehealth interactions, to determine the content and constructs covered by the available instruments, and to describe the patient populations previously surveyed by the existing instruments. Methods: This study and its reporting followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines with the protocol registered in The International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. Three databases were searched with over 3100 articles analyzed for use of a telehealth survey instrument. Results: Twelve telehealth communication assessment instruments were identified with a mean length of 20 questions, primarily Likert-scale responses with one inclusive of free text and one qualitative inquiry survey. Three inquired only into modality, four queried communication, and five studied both modality and communication experience. Existing telehealth survey instruments are unidirectional in exploring patient or family experience, with two inclusive of provider perspectives. Participant demographics are notably underreported in telehealth experience studies with a frank lack of diversity in ethnic/racial, geographic, age, educational, and income representativeness in current telehealth survey instrument respondents. Conclusion: Palliative care teams may consider familiarity with telehealth survey instrument as an essential component to progress from description of telehealth use to evaluation of telehealth encounters. Current survey instrument outcome reports do not represent inclusivity or diversity, although telehealth is now being clinically applied across settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1042-1051.e2
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Telehealth
  • assessment instrument
  • communication
  • palliative care
  • systematic review
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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