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Telemed Rep ; 2(1): 88-96, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901063


Background: Teleneurology consultations can be highly advantageous since neurological diseases and disabilities often limit patient's access to health care, particularly in a setting where they need to travel long distances for specialty consults. Patient satisfaction is an important outcome assessing success of a telemedicine program. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine satisfaction and perception of patients toward an audio call based teleneurology follow-up initiated during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Primary outcomes were satisfaction to tele-consult, and proportion of patients preferring telemedicine for future follow-up. Results: A total of 261 patients who received tele-consult were enrolled. Satisfaction was highest for domain technological quality, followed by patient-physician dialogue (PPD) and least to quality of care (QoC). Median (interquartile range) patient satisfaction on a 5-point Likert scale was 4 (3-5). Eighty-five (32.6%; 95% confidence interval 26.9-38.6%) patients preferred telemedicine for future follow-up. Higher overall satisfaction was associated with health condition being stable/better, change in treatment advised on tele-consult, diagnosis not requiring follow-up examination, higher scores on domains QoC and PPD (p < 0.05). Future preference for telemedicine was associated with patient him-/herself consulting with doctor, less duration of follow-up, higher overall satisfaction, and higher scores on domain QoC (p < 0.05). On thematic analysis, telemedicine was found convenient, reduced expenditure, and had better physician attention; in-person visits were comprehensive, had better patient-physician relationship, and better communication. Discussion: Patient satisfaction was lower in our study than what has been observed earlier, which may be explained by the primitive nature of our platform. Several variables related to the patients' disease process have an effect on patient satisfaction. Conclusion: Development of robust, structured platforms is necessary to fully utilize the potential of telemedicine in developing countries.