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Neuromodulation ; 24(2): 337-342, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599565


OBJECTIVE: To explore the utility of deep brain stimulation (DBS) telemedicine in the management of patients with movement disorders from January 2019 to March 2020, covering the main period of the COVID-19 outbreak in China. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We obtained data from 40 hospitals around China that employed DBS tele-programming for their outpatients with Parkinson's disease or dystonia from January 2019 to March 2020. Data were obtained on the number and nature of patients' DBS health care service requests, reasons for their requests, the number of DBS telemedicine sessions subsequently completed, safety issues, and the patients' satisfaction with the DBS tele-programing parameter adjustments made. RESULTS: There were 909 DBS tele-programming health service requests (from 196 patients) completed during the study period. The results showed: 1) the number of DBS telemedicine sessions requested and the number of patients examined increased during the COVID-19 outbreak in February and March 2020 when compared with the monthly numbers in 2019; 2) the most common reason for the patients' health service requests was poor symptom control; 3) the most common DBS tele-programming adjustment made was voltage change; 4) overall, most (89%) DBS tele-programming adjustment sessions were experienced by the patients as satisfactory; and 5) significant adverse events and unexpected treatment interruptions caused by connection failure or other hardware- or software-related problems did not occur. CONCLUSIONS: DBS telemedicine could have a unique role to play in maintaining the delivery of DBS treatment and medical care to outpatients with movement disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Deep Brain Stimulation/methods , Movement Disorders/therapy , Pandemics , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Care , China , Deep Brain Stimulation/adverse effects , Deep Brain Stimulation/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Satisfaction , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data