Telehealth in palliative care during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic mixed studies review

Xinyi Xu, Mu Hsing Ho, Chia Chin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused unprecedented disruption to healthcare delivery worldwide. The use of telehealth practices rapidly expanded during the pandemic, while its application in palliative care remains a conflicted issue. Aims: The aims of this study were to evaluate users' reports of their satisfaction with telehealth palliative care during COVID-19 and to identify facilitators and barriers to telehealth implementation in palliative care during COVID-19. Methods: A systematic search of the literature, including studies between January 2020 and June 2022, was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL Plus, Embase, and Google Scholar. Empirical studies of telehealth in palliative care during COVID-19 were included. Results: A total of 18 studies were included in the review, of which nine were outpatient consultations, four were family meetings, two were remote volunteering programs, two were inpatient care, and one was a residential care home needs assessment. The satisfaction rates were high (66%–99%) among patients and family members who participated in telehealth consultations, but the satisfaction with family meetings was mixed. Compared with their clients, healthcare professionals were less likely to assess telehealth as satisfactory. The authors identified four barriers and four facilitators. The barriers were technological challenges, lack of nonverbal communication, ethical concerns, and limitations for clinical practice. The facilitators were accessibility and convenience, visual cues, facilitation and training, and family engagement. Linking Evidence to Action: This systematic mixed studies review suggests that current evidence supports the feasibility of telehealth implementation in palliative care for outpatient consultations and routine follow-up appointments. This review also identified facilitators and barriers to telehealth in palliative care, and the findings can inform the implementation of future palliative care services. Future attention should be paid to the effectiveness of telehealth implementation in palliative care patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • implementation
  • palliative care
  • systematic mixed studies review
  • telehealth
  • user satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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