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PLoS One ; 17(6): e0268913, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879309


OBJECTIVE: To examine factors associated with cancer patients' satisfaction using telehealth during COVID-19, including video conferencing platforms and secure messaging systems. METHOD: Patients with cancer participated in a cross-sectional, web-based survey was conducted with patients with cancer. The survey included questions about satisfaction with video-conferencing and secure messaging platforms to interact with clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine predictors of satisfaction for each telehealth platform. RESULTS: Participants generally reported positive satisfaction with each telehealth platform. Both platforms were commonly used to review medical results and discuss symptoms or treatment. Participants identifying as a man were most satisfied with their video-conferencing session, especially if they had a comfortable place to sit. Patients were more satisfied with secure messaging because they could ask a question without scheduling an appointment. DISCUSSION: When strategically used together, video-conferencing platforms and secure messaging may increase patient satisfaction in cancer care during the remainder of the pandemic and beyond. Attention must be paid to optimizing factors that promote satisfaction for each telehealth platform.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods
JMIR Cancer ; 8(1): e34895, 2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686339


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 thrust both patients and clinicians to use telemedicine in place of traditional in-person visits. Prepandemic, limited research had examined clinician-patient communication in telemedicine visits. The shift to telemedicine in oncology, or teleoncology, has placed attention on how the technology can be utilized to provide care for patients with cancer. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to describe oncology clinicians' experiences with teleoncology and to uncover its benefits and challenges during the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: In-depth, semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with oncology clinicians. Using an inductive, thematic approach, the most prevalent themes were identified. RESULTS: In total, 21 interviews with oncology clinicians revealed the following themes: benefits of teleoncology, such as (1) reducing patients' travel time and expenses, (2) limiting COVID-19 exposure, and (3) enabling clinicians to "see" a patients' lifestyle and environment, and challenges, such as (1) technological connection difficulties, (2) inability to physically examine patients, and (3) patients' frustration related to clinicians being late to teleoncology appointments. CONCLUSIONS: Teleoncology has many benefits and is well suited for specific types of appointments. Challenges could be addressed through improved communication when scheduling appointments to make patients aware about what to expect. Ensuring patients have the proper technology to participate in teleoncology and an understanding about how it functions are necessary.

Telemed J E Health ; 2021 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517817


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) immediately impacted patient-clinician communication, particularly in the oncology setting. Relatedly, secure messaging (SM) usage greatly increased, yet it is unknown what was discussed and whether the technology was utilized to disseminate information. Aims: This study aimed at identifying the most frequently discussed topics using SM as well as at understanding how the communication process transpired during the early stages of the pandemic. Materials and Methods: A mixed-methods design was utilized, consisting of a content analysis of more than 4,200 secure messages, aggregated into 1,454 patient-clinician discussions. Data were collected from February 2020 to May 2020. Discussions were from various oncology departments and included physicians, physician assistants, and nurses. Based on the identified categories, a thematic analysis was conducted to understand the nuances occurring within discussions. Results: Out of the 1,454 discussions, 26% (n = 373) related to COVID-19. Of the COVID-19 discussion, the most frequently coded category was "changes, adjustments, and re-arranging care" (65%, n = 241), followed by "risk for COVID-19" (24%, n = 90), "precautions inside the hospital" (18%, n = 66), and "precautions outside the hospital" (14%, n = 52). Natural language processing techniques were used to confirm the validity of the results. Thematic analysis revealed that patients were proactive in rescheduling appointments, expressed anxiety about being immunocompromised, and clinicians were uncertain about providing recommendations related to COVID-19. Conclusions: The COVID-19 outbreak revealed the need for responsive and effective public health communication. The SM can disseminate information from trusted sources, clinicians, but can be better utilized to deliver tailored information for specific patient populations.