Appendix B: Abstract Rating Criteria

YES Abstracts

The central focus is on home telehealth and the article directly targets one or more of chronic disease management, economic analysis/cost benefit, implications for HHR. However, the discussion engages the home telehealth aspect and at least two one other dimension:


The article is a policy paper with direct relevance to the areas as described above authored by a provincial or federal governmental body or agency, or a research institute, academic body or think tank. 

POSSIBLE Abstracts

The topic is home telehealth and the article targets one of chronic disease management, economic analysis/cost benefit, implications for HHR, however, the discussion might focus on telehealth without being totally home-oriented. Or, the article focuses on chronic disease management with home telehealth as one section of the paper (i.e. not necessarily the focus of the paper or the research being presented, but substantial information to still include.

AND at least one of the following is also included:

  • Research evidence is presented. This evidence is empirical, rigorously systematic qualitative or quantitative data, and present clear research outcomes
  • The abstract represents a review of work on the topic or another form of systematic review
  • The abstract suggests that the article makes research recommendations or proposes a research agenda
  • The research is focused on any benefits, processes, or obstacles associated with the implementation of home based telehealth services to address priority issues in CDM and HHR
  • Experience that is likely reproducible or that sounds innovative is presented
  • The concept is presented without data, but discussion suggests that the paper is important in terms of depth of conceptual development or potential impact
  • A local or international example of a home telehealth model targeting a chronic disease that was not identified as one of the research priorities in the BC context

NO Abstracts

There is reasonable doubt about the validity or credibility of the research findings


The article is older than 5 years old


The article is in a language other than English and no suitable translation was found 


The primary focus of the paper is telehealth, but it is not sufficiently relevant to a home-based environment


(2) Guidelines for Applying Abstract Rating Criteria:

  1. Read over the questions for the review to try and re-familiarise yourself with its purpose. As we go through the article abstracts, we are trying to flag abstracts that will inform these questions:
    1. How effective is home telehealth in treating patients with chronic diseases?
    2. What is the cost benefit of implementing, maintaining and utilizing home based telehealth for chronic disease management?
    3. What is the impact of home telehealth on health human resources?
    4. What policies need to be in place to successfully implement and maintain home based telehealth, particularly in the context of chronic disease management?
    5. Do not change the order of abstracts. In order to tabulate the results, it is important that the abstracts are in the same order for each person rating them.
    6. Rate each abstract according to the following scale:
      1. Y* (informs the review questions, appears extremely relevant)
      2. Y (informs the review questions)
      3. P (possibly informs the review questions
      4. N (does not inform the review questions
      5. CDN (Canadian origin)
      6. INTL (international origin)
      7. EMP (empirical content)
      8. NONEMP (non empirical)
      9. Use the attached relevancy rating criteria to help determine the Y, P or N classifications.
      10. Note your rating within EPII Reviewer by applying one of the three potential codes, plus the additional codes for origin and type of information
      11. If the abstract seems particularly relevant, please add the “Extremely Relevant” coding.
      12. If you have a title only citation (no abstract), please try to make a rating based on the title and add a comment in the notes field about its potential relevance (especially if it appears to be an article that we need to track down the full text for).
      13. Respond according to your initial instincts rather than agonizing about your decision for each abstract. The idea is that after multiple reviewers view the document the critical pieces of literature will tend to rise to the top.
      14. Rating disagreements will be reconciled by Research Coordinator and lead researcher and resolved by guided group discussions and consensus

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