Characterising consumer engagement in virtual models of care: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

Maha Pervaz Iqbal*, Bronwyn Newman, Louise A. Ellis, Stephen Mears, Reema Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Widespread adoption of digital tools and technologies now support the delivery of virtual health-care. Although, consumer engagement is central to care processes in virtual care models, there is paucity of evidence regarding the nature and outcomes of consumer engagement. This study aimed to determine the nature of consumer engagement used in virtual models of care, and its impact on quality and safety of care. Methods: A systematic review was undertaken with a narrative synthesis, with a search strategy applied to five electronic databases (CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Web of Science) Results: Fifty-eight studies were included in the review that utilised a variety of virtual models of care across care services. Consumer engagement, such as patients' active involvement in monitoring, capturing and reporting their health data, was a common feature of the identified virtual models. Conclusion: Increasing use of virtual models of care requires consideration of the role of patients and their support persons in the use of technology and in wider care processes that occur at a distance from health professionals. Ensuring consumers are equipped with necessary support to effectively engage in virtual care is important to ensure equity in access to, and outcomes of, virtual care models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107922
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Virtual care
  • Digital health
  • E-health
  • Patient involvement
  • Consumer engagement
  • Patient safety
  • Patient participation


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