Volume 34, Issue 1, March 2023

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(1):16-23
Telemedicine in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Review of the PubMed Literature
Authors Information

1Department of Internal Medicine, Cape Coral Hospital, Cape Coral, Florida, United States

2Department of Rheumatology, Cape Coral Hospital, Cape Coral, Florida, United States

3University of Pavia Faculty of Medicine and Surgery Ringgold Standard Institution, Pavia, Lombardia, Italy

N Barlas, SB Barlas, S Basnyat, E Adalier


Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic increased the use of telemedicine in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The paper intends to provide a narrative review of the PubMed literature (2017-2023) on the application of telemedicine in the management of RA to identify the trends in the application of telemedicine in RA and future research needs. Methods: The PubMed database was used to research data. “Telemedicine” and “rheumatoid arthritis” keywords were entered in the search box. Out of 126 publications between 2017-2023, ones that did not directly address RA, not relate to telemedicine, case reports, preliminary reports and comments to editors were screened. 31 articles were selected for the study. Results: 27 of 31 studies support the value of telemedicine in the monitoring of RA patients. Patient-reported outcomes mostly report positive perceptions, high satisfaction, and convenience. There was no statistically significant difference between telemedicine and hospital visits. Four studies reported the quality of care of telemedicine consultations was inferior to in-person consultations. One of these four studies reported limited health and digital literacy, and older age reduce satisfaction with telemedicine. Comparative and randomised clinical studies and research on modes of telemedicine were limited in quantity. Limitations in study design, lack of evaluation in various settings may impact the generalisability of findings. Conclusion: This review suggests that telemedicine is beneficial in the management of RA, however more studies are needed to pinpoint the most effective uses of telemedicine and to explore alternative health care services for patients with barriers to access telemedicine.

Cite this article as: Barlas N, Barlas SB, Basnyat S, Adalier E. Telemedicine in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Review of the PubMed Literature. Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(1):16-23.

Article Submitted: 30 Jan 2023; Revised Form 27 Feb 2023; Article Accepted 28 Feb 2023; Article Online: 31 Mar 2023


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

©2023 The Author(s).