A Systematic Review of Outpatient Telemedicine Use in Neurosurgery Since the Start of Coronavirus Disease 2019

Jeffrey Z. Nie*, Constantine L. Karras, Pavlos Texakalidis, S. Joy Trybula, Nader S. Dahdaleh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked interest in telemedicine, resulting in an increase in neurosurgical publications focused on it. We summarize this new literature to evaluate telemedicine applications to neurosurgery. Methods: A systematic literature review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines by searching PubMed, Embase, and Scopus for journal articles published after January 1, 2020. All journal articles that included data after the start of COVID-19 and evaluated any aspect of telemedicine relevant to outpatient neurosurgical visits were included. The premise and key findings of each included study were extracted, as well as patient and provider satisfaction with and preference for telemedicine. Results: Thirty-seven articles met the inclusion criteria. Four studies proposed and evaluated a remote neurologic examination. Two studies reported similar postvisit outcomes between remote and in-person visits. Twenty-four studies reported a combination of patient and provider opinions toward telemedicine. Of 9834 patients and 116 providers, 82.4% and 65.2% were satisfied overall with telemedicine, respectively. Of 3526 patients and 168 providers, 57.0% and 66.5% preferred telemedicine to in-person visits, respectively. Conclusions: Overall, most patients and providers have a high opinion of telemedicine for outpatient visits, and increasing evidence suggests that remote visits yield favorable clinical outcomes. The high rates of patient and provider satisfaction and preference may be considered for further adoption of remote neurosurgical visits beyond the COVID-19 era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1090-e1102
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Neurosurgery
  • Remote technology
  • Spine
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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