E-consensus on telemedicine in colorectal surgery: a RAND/UCLA-modified study

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is revolutionizing healthcare delivery. The aim of the study was to reach consensus among experts on the possible applications of telemedicine in colorectal surgery. A group of 48 clinical practice recommendations (CPRs) was developed by a clinical guidance group based on coalescence of evidence and expert opinion. The Telemedicine in Colorectal Surgery Italian Working Group included 54 colorectal surgeons affiliated to the Italian Society of Colo-Rectal Surgery (SICCR) who were involved in the evaluation of the appropriateness of each CPR, based on published RAND/UCLA methodology, in two rounds. Stakeholders’ median age was 44.5 (IQR 36–60) years, and 44 (81%) were males. Agreement was obtained on the applicability of telemonitoring and telemedicine for multidisciplinary pre-operative evaluation. The panel voted against the use of telemedicine for a first consultation. 15/48 statements deemed uncertain on round 1 and were re-elaborated and assessed by 51/54 (94%) panelists on round 2. Consensus was achieved in all but one statement concerning the cost of a teleconsultation. There was strong agreement on the usefulness of teleconsultation during follow-up of patients with diverticular disease after an in-person visit. This e-consensus provides the boundaries of telemedicine in colorectal surgery in Italy. Standardization of infrastructures and costs remains to be better elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalUpdates in Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Colorectal
  • COVID-19
  • Teleconsultation
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine


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