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Has telemedicine come to fruition? Parents’ and pediatricians’ perceptions and preferences regarding telemedicine

Published inPediatric research
First online date2024-03-30
Abstract

Background: Telemedicine has increasingly become a viable option for patient care and may increase access to care. The aim of our study was to evaluate both parent and pediatrician perceptions, preferences, and acceptability regarding the use of different telemedicine modalities.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of both parents and pediatricians in Geneva, Switzerland in 2021. The questionnaire focused on digital literacy, preferences, acceptability, advantages, and disadvantages regarding telemedicine (phone, email, video, and instant message). Descriptive statistics and comparisons of preferences and perceptions (Pearson Chi2 and logistic regression) were performed.

Results: Two hundred and twenty-two parents and 45 pediatricians participated. After face-to-face consultations, parents and pediatricians preferred the phone for simple medical advice, discussion of parameters, acute or chronic problems, and psychological support. Email was preferred for communication of results and prescription renewal. Main reasons for using telemedicine were avoiding travel and saving time. Disadvantages were lack of physical examination, technical problems, and unsuitability of the reason for consultation.

Conclusions: Understanding the factors that influence acceptance and satisfaction with telemedicine is vital for its successful implementation. Convenience, quality of care, trust, strong pediatrician-parent relationships, technical reliability, user-friendliness, and privacy considerations play significant roles in shaping parent and pediatrician attitudes toward telemedicine.

Impact: The COVID-19 pandemic spurred the expansion of the use of telemedicine in pediatric care. Few studies have addressed parent and pediatrician perceptions and preferences regarding telemedicine. Both parents and pediatricians consider certain telemedicine modalities (phone, email, video, and instant message) pertinent in only specific clinical situations. Advantages of telemedicine outweigh disadvantages with parents and pediatricians appreciating the increased access to care, time savings, and avoiding transport. However, the lack of a physical examination remains a significant disadvantage. Convenience, quality of care, trust, strong pediatrician-parent relationship, technical reliability, user-friendliness, and privacy considerations play significant roles in shaping attitudes towards telemedicine.

eng
Citation (ISO format)
BAJWA, Nadia Masood et al. Has telemedicine come to fruition? Parents’ and pediatricians’ perceptions and preferences regarding telemedicine. In: Pediatric research, 2024. doi: 10.1038/s41390-024-03172-w
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ISSN of the journal0031-3998
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