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E-Bulletin No. 6 - July 2022 | Digital Health and Diseases of Adolescents

Published on: 28 Jul 2022 Viewed: 146

Connected Health (CH) is planning a special issue regarding "Developing and Evaluating Digital Health Interventions for Adolescents and Young People" guest-edited by Dr. Lisa McCann, from Department of Computing and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom. The special issue will provide cutting-edge, evidence-based literature and expert-guided practice for scholars who dedicate to understanding the status quo of digital health application in diseases of adolescents as well as the people who desire to appeal more attention about the healthcare of young people. The literature demonstrates that digital health applications tend to be increasingly prevalent in young people and many experts published related articles on this topic, so we have highlighted several quality articles as follows:

Title: Telehealth in outpatient care for children and adolescents with chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A scoping review protocol
Authors: Larissa Karoline Dias da Silva Casemiro, Luís Carlos Lopes-Júnior, Fabrine Aguilar Jardim, Mariane Caetano Sulino, Regina Aparecida Garcia de Lima
Type: Review
Introduction: Outpatient care for children and adolescents with chronic conditions needs to be continuous and programmed, encompassing comprehensive care, with periodically scheduled consultations, exams, and procedures, to promote quality of life and reduce mortality. In the context of the new coronavirus pandemic, however, outpatient care for children and adolescents with chronic conditions, in person, was hampered in favor of social isolation, a necessary sanitary measure to reduce and prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019. In response to this need, studies suggest telehealth in pediatrics as a fertile and expanding field especially in times of pandemics. Here, we aimed to map the evidence related to telehealth in outpatient care for children and adolescents with chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, to identify which strategies were implemented and their impacts on the continuity of care.
Methods: A scoping review protocol is reported and guided by the Scoping Reviews Manual of the Joanna Briggs Institute. The search for evidence will cover the following databases: MEDLINE/PubMed, Cochrane Libary; Embase; Web of Science; Scopus; Cinahl and PsycINFO, plus additional sources, such as The British Library, Google Scholar, and Preprints [medRXiv]. No date or language restrictions will be employed in this scoping review. Two independent researchers will conduct the search strategy, study selection, data charting, and data synthesis.
Results: The findings will be presented through tables, charts, narrative summaries, and assessed based on the type of data charted as well as outcomes. Additionally, the meaning of these findings will be considered as they relate to the guiding question, the characterization and measurement of the impact of different telehealth modalities used in outpatient care for children and adolescents with chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the implications for practice and further research.
Discussion: To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first scoping review to look specifically at the telehealth modalities to be used in outpatient care for children and adolescents with chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect that our results will be of interest to practitioners as well as researchers concerned with this particular emerging issue in the pandemic context. Also, the plans for the dissemination of this study comprise peer-reviewed publication and conference presentations.
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Title: Use of Telehealth in the Management of Adolescent Eating Disorders: Patient Perspectives and Future Directions Suggested from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authors: Sasha Gorrell, Erin E Reilly, Leigh Brosof, Daniel Le Grange
Type: Review
Efforts to increase the accessibility of eating disorder (ED) treatment via telemedicine have been ongoing for the past decades. However, there has been a recent surge in research focused on remote delivery of interventions since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in 2020, the related lockdowns, and an exponential increase in ED symptoms in youth secondary to the pandemic worldwide. In the current review, we provide a focused summary of existing literature regarding telehealth for the treatment of EDs in adolescents using a frame of past, present, and future work. Specifically, we begin with a brief overview of research in remote delivery for EDs in youth prior to 2020. Then, we detail more recent studies in this domain, with a focus on research conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. We close by outlining limitations of the existing data and future steps necessary to expand the rigor and impact of this work. Overall, there are considerable limitations associated with research conducted during the pandemic, but an increase in the acceptability of remote delivery methods and interest in hybrid care appears to be feasible, and likely to be lasting. Future work must replicate more recent research in non-pandemic contexts and prioritize evaluation of factors that will aid in matching patients to the most efficient and effective modalities of care moving forward.
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Title: Effect of telehealth implementation on an adolescent metabolic and bariatric surgery program
Authors: Rachel E. Herdes, Brittany E. Matheson, Deborah D.Tsao, Matias Bruzoni, Janey S.A.Pratt
Type: Original Article
Background: Pediatric severe obesity is a worldwide health concern. Treatment with metabolic and bariatric surgery can reduce morbidity and mortality. The COVID-19 pandemic not only has had a significant effect on rates of pediatric obesity but also has necessitated a rapid transition to virtual medicine.
Objective: We aimed to identify and examine adolescent metabolic and bariatric surgery patient participation rates through our program’s virtual telehealth programming as compared with prepandemic traditional in-person clinic appointments.
Setting: This study took place at an academic pediatric quaternary care center.
Methods: We evaluated 92 adolescent patients with a total of 2442 unique encounters between January 2018 and July 2021.
Results: The rate of attendance was found to be greater for telehealth visits (83.1%) than for in-person appointments (70.5%) for all clinics regardless of appointment type (preoperative versus postoperative). Cancellation rates were lower for telehealth visits (9.9%) than for in-person appointments (22.5%).
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that telehealth can be implemented successfully in an adolescent metabolic and bariatric surgery program and can improve attendance rates for all provider and appointment subtypes.
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Title: Telehealth Interventions to Promote Health and Behavior-Related Outcomes in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Authors: Liron Lamash, Lauren Little, Liat Hen-Herbst
Type: Review
This systematic review examined the effectiveness of a hybrid telehealth model for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), exploring the evidence base, methodology, and outcomes of health and behavior-related interventions for adolescents with ASD. The 11 included studies (a) were quantitative, (b) evaluated interventions delivered through a hybrid telehealth model (i.e., combined remote intervention with minimal in-person procedures), (c) measured health and behavior-related outcomes, and (d) considered adolescence as ages 12 through 25 years. The studies were a mixture of designs, methods, and outcome measures, and participant numbers were extremely low. Results demonstrated an overall lack of empirical evidence on the efficacy of hybrid-delivered interventions for adolescents with ASD, and more studies are needed to explore their effectiveness.
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Title: The Impact of Telehealth on Clinical Education in Adolescent Medicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Positive Preliminary Findings
Authors: Do-Quyen Pham1, Sarah A. Golub, Cora Collette Breuner, Yolanda N. Evans
Type: Original Article
Purpose: Following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of clinical care rapidly transitioned to telehealth, shifting the clinical training milieu for most trainees. In the wake of this shift, educators have attempted to keep learners engaged in patient care and optimize medical education as much as possible. There is, however, limited understanding of the effect of telehealth on clinical education. The aim of our study was to better understand the educational experience of pediatric and Adolescent Medicine trainees participating in clinical encounters via telehealth in a specialty consultation Adolescent Medicine Clinic at a quaternary pediatric care hospital.
Methods: Using a web-based anonymous questionnaire, we surveyed trainees rotating through the Adolescent Medicine Clinic between March and June 2020. We used descriptive statistics to evaluate their experiences with telehealth and identify techniques that were effective to facilitate learning during a telehealth visit.
Results: Surveys from 12 pediatric and Adolescent Medicine trainees were received, with a 75% response rate. Most trainees (83.3%) reported no prior experience with telehealth before the onset of the pandemic. By the end of their rotation, trainees identified techniques that helped facilitate learning during a telehealth visit. The majority of trainees (83.3%) rated their experience as effective or very effective, and all reported interest in incorporating telehealth into their future practice.
Conclusions: Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine trainees reported overall positive experiences with telehealth in clinical education and an interest in incorporating this tool into future practice. Additional research is needed to refine techniques in engaging learners through telehealth.
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Furthermore, we also list some NEWS about the related topic in the scientific circles:
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Great Lakes Recovery Center reminds the community that it offers year-round services meant to fill a needed gap in mental health services for children, teens and their families. These services can be accessed in person at the Ishpeming Outpatient Clinic, although some services may be available via Telehealth (, last access: 26 July 2022). Chelsea Clinton and Sequoia’s Alfred Lin back $7.5 million seed round for pediatric telehealth startup Summer Health (, last access: 26 July 2022)

We hope our sharing will inspire you. Looking forward to meeting you next time in CH Bulletin.

Respectfully submitted by the Editorial Office of Connected Health
Written by Abby Zhang
Assistant Editor of Connected Health

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