Deakin University

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Virtual Care Initiatives for Older Adults in Australia: Scoping Review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-20, 23:01 authored by Feby SaviraFeby Savira, Adyya GuptaAdyya Gupta, C Gilbert, Kate HugginsKate Huggins, C Browning, W Chapman, T Haines, Anna PeetersAnna Peeters
BACKGROUND: There has been a rapid shift toward the adoption of virtual health care services in Australia. It is unknown how widely virtual care has been implemented or evaluated for the care of older adults in Australia. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to review the literature evaluating virtual care initiatives for older adults across a wide range of health conditions and modalities and identify key challenges and opportunities for wider adoption at both patient and system levels in Australia. METHODS: A scoping review of the literature was conducted. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, AgeLine, and gray literature (January 1, 2011, to March 8, 2021) to identify virtual care initiatives for older Australians (aged ≥65 years). The results were reported according to the World Health Organization's digital health evaluation framework. RESULTS: Among the 6296 documents in the search results, we identified 94 that reported 80 unique virtual care initiatives. Most (69/80, 89%) were at the pilot stage and targeted community-dwelling older adults (64/79, 81%) with chronic diseases (52/80, 65%). The modes of delivery included videoconference, telephone, apps, device or monitoring systems, and web-based technologies. Most initiatives showed either similar or better health and behavioral outcomes compared with in-person care. The key barriers for wider adoption were physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment in older adults and staffing issues, legislative issues, and a lack of motivation among providers. CONCLUSIONS: Virtual care is a viable model of care to address a wide range of health conditions among older adults in Australia. More embedded and integrative evaluations are needed to ensure that virtually enabled care can be used more widely by older Australians and health care providers.



Journal of medical Internet research














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