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1.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) ; 74(8): 1227-1233, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1825807

ABSTRACT

Many rheumatology providers, including fellows-in-training, responded to the immediate need for maintaining patient access to care via telerheumatology during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapidity of this transition did not permit an intentional approach to integrating fellow education and training into virtual patient care. Virtual patient care has since become an integrated, and perhaps, an embedded part of rheumatology practice that will likely endure beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the development of best practices in telerheumatology, including those for fellow education and training as these new entrants prepare to enter our workforce, will benefit the entire specialty. In this work, we seek to describe current models for training learners in virtual patient care, characterize existing barriers to virtual care models, and offer strategies to integrate telerheumatology into curriculum development and training.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rheumatology , Telemedicine , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , Rheumatology/education
2.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e23795, 2021 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It has been widely communicated that individuals with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of severe disease due to COVID-19 than healthy peers. As social distancing measures continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts encourage individuals with underlying conditions to engage in telehealth appointments to maintain continuity of care while minimizing risk exposure. To date, however, little information has been provided regarding telehealth uptake among this high-risk population. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe the telehealth use, resource needs, and information sources of individuals with chronic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondary objectives include exploring differences in telehealth use by sociodemographic characteristics. METHODS: Data for this study were collected through an electronic survey distributed between May 12-14, 2020, to members of 26 online health communities for individuals with chronic disease. Descriptive statistics were run to explore telehealth use, support needs, and information sources, and z tests were run to assess differences in sociodemographic factors and information and support needs among those who did and did not use telehealth services. RESULTS: Among the 2210 respondents, 1073 (49%) reported engaging in telehealth in the past 4 months. Higher proportions of women engaged in telehealth than men (890/1781, 50% vs 181/424, 43%; P=.007), and a higher proportion of those earning household incomes of more than US $100,000 engaged in telehealth than those earning less than US $30,000 (195/370, 53% vs 241/530 45%; P=.003). Although 59% (133/244) of those younger than 40 years and 54% (263/486) of those aged 40-55 years used telehealth, aging populations were less likely to do so, with only 45% (677/1500) of individuals 56 years or older reporting telehealth use (P<.001 and P=.001, respectively). Patients with cystic fibrosis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis recorded the highest proportions of individuals using telehealth when compared to those with other diagnoses. Of the 2210 participants, 1333 (60%) participants either looked up information about the virus online or planned to in the future, and when asked what information or support would be most helpful right now, over half (1151/2210, 52%) responded "understanding how COVID-19 affects people with my health condition." CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of the study sample reported participating in telehealth in the past 4 months. Future efforts to engage individuals with underlying medical conditions in telehealth should focus on outreach to men, members of lower-income households, and aging populations. These results may help inform and refine future health communications to further engage this at-risk population in telehealth as the pandemic continues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Telemedicine/methods , Chronic Disease , Female , Humans , Internet , Learning Health System , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Clin Orthop Relat Res ; 479(7): 1417-1425, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511052

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare disparities are well documented across multiple subspecialties in orthopaedics. The widespread implementation of telemedicine risks worsening these disparities if not carefully executed, despite original assumptions that telemedicine improves overall access to care. Telemedicine also poses unique challenges such as potential language or technological barriers that may alter previously described patterns in orthopaedic disparities. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: Are the proportions of patients who use telemedicine across orthopaedic services different among (1) racial and ethnic minorities, (2) non-English speakers, and (3) patients insured through Medicaid during a 10-week period after the implementation of telemedicine in our healthcare system compared with in-person visits during a similar time period in 2019? METHODS: This was a retrospective comparative study using electronic medical record data to compare new patients establishing orthopaedic care via outpatient telemedicine at two academic urban medical centers between March 2020 and May 2020 with new orthopaedic patients during the same 10-week period in 2019. A total of 11,056 patients were included for analysis, with 1760 in the virtual group and 9296 in the control group. Unadjusted analyses demonstrated patients in the virtual group were younger (median age 57 years versus 59 years; p < 0.001), but there were no differences with regard to gender (56% female versus 56% female; p = 0.66). We used self-reported race or ethnicity as our primary independent variable, with primary language and insurance status considered secondarily. Unadjusted and multivariable adjusted analyses were performed for our primary and secondary predictors using logistic regression. We also assessed interactions between race or ethnicity, primary language, and insurance type. RESULTS: After adjusting for age, gender, subspecialty, insurance, and median household income, we found that patients who were Hispanic (odds ratio 0.59 [95% confidence interval 0.39 to 0.91]; p = 0.02) or Asian were less likely (OR 0.73 [95% CI 0.53 to 0.99]; p = 0.04) to be seen through telemedicine than were patients who were white. After controlling for confounding variables, we also found that speakers of languages other than English or Spanish were less likely to have a telemedicine visit than were people whose primary language was English (OR 0.34 [95% CI 0.18 to 0.65]; p = 0.001), and that patients insured through Medicaid were less likely to be seen via telemedicine than were patients who were privately insured (OR 0.83 [95% CI 0.69 to 0.98]; p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Despite initial promises that telemedicine would help to bridge gaps in healthcare, our results demonstrate disparities in orthopaedic telemedicine use based on race or ethnicity, language, and insurance type. The telemedicine group was slightly younger, which we do not believe undermines the findings. As healthcare moves toward increased telemedicine use, we suggest several approaches to ensure that patients of certain racial, ethnic, or language groups do not experience disparate barriers to care. These might include individual patient- or provider-level approaches like expanded telemedicine schedules to accommodate weekends and evenings, institutional investment in culturally conscious outreach materials such as advertisements on community transport systems, or government-level provisions such as reimbursement for telephone-only encounters. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, therapeutic study.


Subject(s)
Health Services Accessibility , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Orthopedic Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Plan Implementation , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Humans , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Language , Male , Medicaid , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Racial Groups/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods , United States
4.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab ; 106(2): e1060-e1061, 2021 01 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484818
5.
Clin Orthop Relat Res ; 479(1): 47-56, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483562

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has resulted in a rapid pivot toward telemedicine owing to closure of in-person elective clinics and sustained efforts at physical distancing worldwide. Throughout this period, there has been revived enthusiasm for delivering and receiving orthopaedic care remotely. Unfortunately, rapidly published editorials and commentaries during the pandemic have not adequately conveyed findings of published randomized trials on this topic. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: In this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials, we asked: (1) What are the levels of patient and surgeon satisfaction with the use of telemedicine as a tool for orthopaedic care delivery? (2) Are there differences in patient-reported outcomes between telemedicine visits and in-person visits? (3) What is the difference in time commitment between telemedicine and in-person visits? METHODS: In accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, we conducted a systematic review with the primary objective to determine patient and surgeon satisfaction with telemedicine, and secondary objectives to determine differences in patient-reported outcomes and time commitment. We used combinations of search keywords and medical subject headings around the terms "telemedicine", "telehealth", and "virtual care" combined with "orthopaedic", "orthopaedic surgery" and "randomized." We searched three medical databases (MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library) in duplicate and performed manual searches to identify randomized controlled trials evaluating the outcomes of telemedicine and in-person orthopaedic assessments. Trials that studied an intervention that was considered to be telemedicine (that is, any form of remote or virtual care including, but not limited to, video, telephone, or internet-based care), had a control group that comprised in-person assessments performed by orthopaedic surgeons, and were reports of Level I original evidence were included in this study. Studies evaluating physiotherapy or rehabilitation interventions were excluded. Data was extracted by two reviewers and quantitative and qualitive summaries of results were generated. Methodological quality of included trials was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool, which uniformly rated the trials at high risk of bias within the blinding categories (blinding of providers, patients, and outcome assessors). We screened 133 published articles; 12 articles (representing eight randomized controlled trials) met the inclusion criteria. There were 1008 patients randomized (511 to telemedicine groups and 497 to control groups). Subspecialties represented were hip and knee arthroplasty (two trials), upper extremity (two trials), pediatric trauma (one trial), adult trauma (one trial), and general orthopaedics (two trials). RESULTS: There was no difference in the odds of satisfaction between patients receiving telemedicine care and those receiving in-person care (pooled odds ratio 0.89 [95% CI 0.40 to 1.99]; p = 0.79). There were also no differences in surgeon satisfaction (pooled OR 0.38 [95% CI 0.07 to 2.19]; p = 0.28) or among multiple patient-reported outcome measures that evaluated pain and function. Patients reported time savings, both when travel time was excluded (17 minutes shorter [95% CI 2 to 32]; p = 0.03) and when it was included (180 minutes shorter [95% CI 78 to 281]; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Evidence from heterogeneous randomized studies demonstrates that the use of telemedicine for orthopaedic assessments does not result in identifiable differences in patient or surgeon satisfaction compared with in-person assessments. Importantly, the source studies in this review did not adequately capture or report safety endpoints, such as complications or missed diagnoses. Future studies must be adequately powered to detect these differences to ensure patient safety is not compromised with the use of telemedicine. Although telemedicine may lead to a similar patient experience, surgeons should maintain a low threshold for follow-up with in-person assessments whenever possible in the absence of further safety data. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level I, therapeutic study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Job Satisfaction , Orthopedic Procedures , Orthopedics , Patient Satisfaction , Telemedicine , Humans
6.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) ; 73(8): 1153-1161, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298444

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on community-based rheumatology care and the use of telehealth is unclear. We undertook this study to investigate the impact of the pandemic on rheumatology care delivery in a large community practice-based network. METHODS: Using a community practice-based rheumatologist network, we examined trends in in-person versus telehealth visits versus canceled visits in 3 time periods: pre-COVID-19, COVID-19 transition (6 weeks beginning March 23, 2020), and post-COVID-19 transition (May-August). In the transition period, we compared patients who received in-person care versus telehealth visits versus those who cancelled all visits. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with canceled or telehealth visits. RESULTS: Pre-COVID-19, there were 7,075 visits/week among 60,002 unique rheumatology patients cared for by ~300 providers practicing in 92 offices. This number decreased substantially (24.6% reduction) during the COVID-19 transition period for in-person visits but rebounded to pre-COVID-19 levels during the post-COVID-19 transition. There were almost no telehealth visits pre-COVID-19, but telehealth increased substantially during the COVID-19 transition (41.4% of all follow-up visits) and slightly decreased during the post-COVID-19 transition (27.7% of visits). Older age, female sex, Black or Hispanic race/ethnicity, lower socioeconomic status, and rural residence were associated with a greater likelihood of canceling visits. Most factors were also associated with a lower likelihood of having telehealth versus in-office visits. Patients living further from the rheumatologists' office were more likely to use telehealth. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 led to large disruptions in rheumatology care; these disruptions were only partially offset by increases in telehealth use and disproportionately affected racial/ethnic minorities and patients with lower socioeconomic status. During the COVID-19 era, telehealth continues to be an important part of rheumatology practice, but disparities in access to care exist for some vulnerable groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Community Health Services/trends , Office Visits/trends , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Rheumatology/trends , Telemedicine/trends , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged
7.
HIV AIDS (Auckl) ; 13: 651-656, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278252

ABSTRACT

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine has been highlighted, especially in specialties, such as the management of HIV. Recent data were reviewed between January 1, 2019 and March 20, 2021 by searching English language manuscripts for studies documenting clinical outcomes in HIV care and the patient experience. A PubMed, Google Scholar, and bibliography review based on the search terms "HIV," "telemedicine," and "telehealth" was conducted. Studies included in this analysis were comprised of adult patients living with HIV, receiving care for HIV via telemedicine with reported clinical outcomes or perceptions of using telemedicine in the management of their HIV care. Of the 179 studies identified, 12 met inclusion for this analysis. Only two studies provided data on clinical outcomes of HIV (virologic outcomes), one pre-pandemic and one during COVID-19. The study evaluating viral suppression during COVID-19 demonstrated lower rates of virologic suppression and lower rates of missed appointments when shelter-in-place orders were issued compared to before the start of the pandemic. The remaining studies focused on patient-related outcomes as they related to the usability and adoption of telehealth models. Many practices documented the benefits and limitations of telemedicine based on the rapid switch from traditional in-person clinics. Benefits included retention in care for patients who lived a far distance from clinic, privacy for patients not wanting to be seen attending an HIV clinic, and more flexibility in scheduling appointments. Some limitations included patients' access to technology, ability and willingness to use technology, and privacy of patients who are homeless and reside in a shelter where homelessness is 3 times greater in people living with HIV compared to the general population. Healthcare should be tailored to the individual patient by assessing their needs and limitations, particularly with patients who may be at risk for discontinuation of care, particularly in the homeless population. In addition, there are mixed data on factors such as age, sex, and race being limiting factors in willingness to use technology. From the studies reviewed, willingness to engage with technology did not differ by age, sex, or race but did differ by access and willingness to use technology. Greater limitations were access to appropriate devices for telemedicine and digital literacy. Although there have been difficulties with the switch to telemedicine in clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients have reported being satisfied with care and would be interested in continuing once the shelter-in-place order is lifted. Future studies should focus on the provision of HIV care using telemedicine beyond the pandemic and focus on ways to improve the telemedicine experience for the patient.

8.
Global Spine J ; : 21925682211022311, 2021 Jun 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268187

ABSTRACT

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional, anonymous, international survey. OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the rapid adoption of telemedicine in spine surgery. This study sought to determine the extent of adoption and global perspectives on telemedicine in spine surgery. METHODS: All members of AO Spine International were emailed an anonymous survey covering the participant's experiences with and perceptions of telemedicine. Descriptive statistics were used to depict responses. Responses were compared among regions. RESULTS: 485 spine surgeons participated in the survey. Telemedicine usage rose from <10.0% to >39.0% of all visits. A majority of providers (60.5%) performed at least one telemedicine visit. The format of "telemedicine" varied widely by region: European (50.0%) and African (45.2%) surgeons were more likely to use phone calls, whereas North (66.7%) and South American (77.0%) surgeons more commonly used video (P < 0.001). North American providers used telemedicine the most during COVID-19 (>60.0% of all visits). 81.9% of all providers "agreed/strongly agreed" telemedicine was easy to use. Respondents tended to "agree" that imaging review, the initial appointment, and postoperative care could be performed using telemedicine. Almost all (95.4%) surgeons preferred at least one in-person visit prior to the day of surgery. CONCLUSION: Our study noted significant geographical differences in the rate of telemedicine adoption and the platform of telemedicine utilized. The results suggest a significant increase in telemedicine utilization, particularly in North America. Spine surgeons found telemedicine feasible for imaging review, initial visits, and follow-up visits although the vast majority still preferred at least one in-person preoperative visit.

9.
J Pain Res ; 14: 1533-1542, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262569

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a hasty transition to virtual care but also an abundance of new literature highlighting telehealth's capabilities and limitations for various healthcare applications. In this review, we aim to narrate the current state of the literature on telehealth applied to migraine care. First, telemedicine in the context of non-acute headache management has been shown to produce non-inferior patient outcomes when compared to traditional face-to-face appointments. The assignment of patients to telehealth appointments should be made after referring more urgent cases to dedicated in-person clinics. During the virtual appointment, physicians can ask their patients about the "3 F's" in order to perform a thorough assessment of their headaches: frequency of headache days, frequency of acute medication usage and functional impairment. Clinical assessment scores that have been studied and deemed feasible for telemedicine, safe and efficient include the HIT-6, VAS and MIDAS scores. Although MIDAS was found to be redundant and inadequate to use on a daily basis, we suggest that it can be useful in periodic remote follow-up appointments. Additionally, several mobile health apps have been studied including Migraine Buddy, Migraine Coach and Migraine Monitor. All of these are appropriate for use in telemedicine when combined with an adequate trial period with Migraine Buddy being rated the highest, as it captures the most detailed clinical picture. High satisfaction rates have been reported for virtual headache management which were shown to be equal to in-person consults. These are based on patients' perceived increase in convenience due to avoided travel time, less disruption of their daily routine and feeling more comfortable in the environment of their choice. Despite this, limitations such as technological knowledge, access to videoconferencing modalities and having a more impersonal consultation with the physician may hinder some patients from adopting this service.

10.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(6): e28643, 2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261328

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak exposed several problems faced by health systems worldwide, especially concerning the safe and rapid generation and sharing of health data. However, this pandemic scenario has also facilitated the rapid implementation and monitoring of technologies in the health field. In view of the occurrence of the public emergency caused by SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil, the Department of Informatics of the Brazilian Unified Health System created a contingency plan. In this paper, we aim to report the digital health strategies applied in Brazil and the first results obtained during the fight against COVID-19. Conecte SUS, a platform created to store all the health data of an individual throughout their life, is the center point of the Brazilian digital strategy. Access to the platform can be obtained through an app by the patient and the health professionals involved in the case. Health data sharing became possible due to the creation of the National Health Data Network (Rede Nacional de Dados em Saúde, RNDS). A mobile app was developed to guide citizens regarding the need to go to a health facility and to assist in disseminating official news about the virus. The mobile app can also alert the user if they have had contact with an infected person. The official numbers of cases and available hospital beds are updated and published daily on a website containing interactive graphs. These data are obtained due to creating a web-based notification system that uses the RNDS to share information about the cases. Preclinical care through telemedicine has become essential to prevent overload in health facilities. The exchange of experiences between medical teams from large centers and small hospitals was made possible using telehealth. Brazil took a giant step toward digital health adoption, creating and implementing important initiatives; however, these initiatives do not yet cover the entire health system. It is expected that the sharing of health data that are maintained and authorized by the patient will become a reality in the near future. The intention is to obtain better clinical outcomes, cost reduction, and faster and better services in the public health network.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Technology/methods , Biomedical Technology/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Digital Technology/methods , Digital Technology/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine
11.
Clin Teach ; 18(4): 424-430, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261166

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Communication between clinicians, patients, and families is a core component of medical care that requires deliberate practice and feedback to improve. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sudden transformation in communication practices because of new physical distancing requirements, necessitating physicians to communicate bad news via telephone and video-mediated communication (VMC). This study investigated students' experience with a simulation-based communications training for having difficult conversations using VMC. METHODS: Thirty-eight fourth-year medical students preparing for their surgical residency participated in a simulated scenario where students discussed a new COVID-19 diagnosis with a standardised family member (SFM) of a sick patient via VMC. Learners were introduced to an established communications model (SPIKES) by an educational video. After the simulation, SFM and course facilitators guided a debrief and provided feedback. Learners completed surveys evaluating reactions to the training, preparedness to deliver bad news, and attitudes about telehealth. RESULTS: Twenty-three students completed evaluation surveys (response rate=61%). Few students had prior formal training (17%) or experience communicating bad news using telehealth (13%). Most respondents rated the session beneficial (96%) and felt they could express empathy using the VMC format (83%). However, only 57% felt ready to deliver bad news independently after the training and 52% reported it was more difficult to communicate without physical presence. Comments highlighted the need for additional practice. CONCLUSION: This pilot study demonstrated the value and feasibility of teaching medical students to break bad news using VMC as well as demonstrating the need for additional training.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19 Testing , Communication , Humans , Physician-Patient Relations , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2 , Truth Disclosure
12.
Ir J Med Sci ; 191(3): 985-990, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260612

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected all aspects of life, including the routine follow-up of patients with chronic illnesses. In this study, we aim to share our experience of telemedicine in our pediatric endocrinology clinic during the pandemic. METHODS: We were able to continue caring for children with endocrine disorders using various communication methods such as e-mail and e-message. RESULTS: A total of 267 patients received telemedicine care over the course of 608 contacts. The number of hospital visits and physical contact was effectively reduced to help protect against the COVID-19 infection. The patients were supported in terms of receiving their prescriptions and patient education also continued. No complications were observed. CONCLUSION: The advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine were discussed and consequently, we propose that telemedicine can be utilized to maintain and continue the care of children with endocrine disorders during and even after the pandemic. Further studies are needed to standardize this method for general use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Ambulatory Care Facilities , Child , Humans , Pandemics , Telemedicine/methods
13.
14.
Int J Cardiol Heart Vasc ; 34: 100811, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252979

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) patients with CRT devices are a vulnerable patient population during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. It is important to develop innovative virtual care models to deliver multidisciplinary care while minimizing the risk of SARS-CoV2 exposure. OBJECTIVE: We aim to provide a description of how HF patients with CRT devices were assessed and managed in our virtual multidisciplinary clinic during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Clinical outcomes between this group of patients seen in virtual clinic and a historical cohort followed by in-person multi-disciplinary clinic prior to the pandemic were compared. METHOD: This is a retrospective cohort study of HF patients with CRT implants who were seen in the virtual multidisciplinary clinic from March 18th, 2020 to May 27th, 2020 (Virtual Visit Group, N = 43). A historical cohort of HF patients with CRT devices seen in the ReACT clinic in person during the same calendar time period in 2019 was used as a control group (In-Person Visit Group, N = 39). Both groups were followed until July 1st of the same calendar year (2020 or 2019) for clinical events. The primary outcome measure was a combined outcome of all-cause mortality and HF- or device-related hospitalizations during follow-up. The secondary outcome measures included patient satisfaction, COVID-19 infection, and other cardiovascular events. RESULTS: In the Virtual-Visit Group, 21 patients (48.8%) had their initial ReACT clinic visit (first visit after CRT implant) as a virtual visit; 22 patients (51.2%) had prior in-person ReACT clinic visits before the first virtual visit. During the virtual visits, 12 patients had either potential cardiac symptoms or significant device interrogation findings that required clinical intervention. In post-virtual clinic patient satisfaction survey, all 22 patients surveyed (100%) reported being very satisfied or satisfied with the overall experience of the virtual clinic, and every patient (100%) said they would like to use telemedicine again. During a median follow-up period of 82 days (interquartile range [IQR] 61-96 days), one patient died from pneumonia of unclear etiology at an outside hospital, without documentation of COVID-19 positivity. No patient was hospitalized for HF- or arrhythmia-related complications. No patient was diagnosed with COVID-19. Compared with the In-Person Visit Group, there was no significant increase in mortality or major cardiovascular events in the Virtual-Visit Group (2.3% versus 5.1%, P = 0.60). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Virtual multidisciplinary care was feasible for HF patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and achieved good patient satisfaction. Virtual care was not associated with short-term increase in adverse events for HF patients with CRT device during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This virtual care model could help promote the adoption of digital health methodology for high-risk patients with multiple cardiac comorbidities.

15.
Front Public Health ; 9: 653553, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256409

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected health care services worldwide due to lockdowns, prevention measures, and social distancing. During this period, patients, including older adults and those with chronic conditions, need ways to obtain medical attention other than going physically to the clinic, such as telemedicine services. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate attitudes toward telemedicine during the COVID-19 lockdown in Israel, assess willingness to use such services in the future, and evaluate the extent to which consumers have changed their minds regarding these services. Method: A cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational study was conducted among adults (age 20-90) using social media networks (N = 693). Data were collected using an online questionnaire explicitly designed to measure attitudes toward telemedicine. Results: Most of the participants had to use telemedicine during the lockdown and were satisfied therewith. The majority also stated that they would continue using telemedicine in the future. However, only a third stated that they had changed their minds regarding telemedicine. The main predictors of willingness to use telemedicine in the future were the necessity of using such services during lockdown, preference for going to a clinic, and satisfaction with telemedicine, alongside gender and having a chronic illness. Importantly, we found that a preference for visiting the clinic was negatively correlated with willingness to use telemedicine in the future. Education and being single were predictors of the change of mind regarding telemedicine. Participants with chronic conditions are more likely to use these services, and specific attention should be directed to their needs. A small portion of the study sample prefers live appointments with a physician. Conclusions: Telemedicine use is rapidly changing. It is vital for health care providers to identify non-telemedicine users and their common characteristics. Monitoring patients' attitudes regarding telemedicine is essential in the future after the pandemic ends. Targeted outreach plans should be formulated. These plans should be directed at identifying barriers to using telemedicine, and they should generate specific, focused plans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Attitude , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
16.
JMIR Med Inform ; 9(6): e26463, 2021 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256253

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Generalized restriction of movement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, together with unprecedented pressure on the health system, has disrupted routine care for non-COVID-19 patients. Telemedicine should be vigorously promoted to reduce the risk of infections and to offer medical assistance to restricted patients. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to understand physicians' attitudes toward and perspectives of telemedicine during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to provide support for better implementation of telemedicine. METHODS: We surveyed all physicians (N=148), from October 17 to 25, 2020, who attended the clinical informatics PhD program at West China Medical School, Sichuan University, China. The physicians came from 57 hospitals in 16 provinces (ie, municipalities) across China, 54 of which are 3A-level hospitals, two are 3B-level hospitals, and one is a 2A-level hospital. RESULTS: Among 148 physicians, a survey response rate of 87.2% (129/148) was attained. The average age of the respondents was 35.6 (SD 3.9) years (range 23-48 years) and 67 out of 129 respondents (51.9%) were female. The respondents come from 37 clinical specialties in 55 hospitals located in 14 provinces (ie, municipalities) across Eastern, Central, and Western China. A total of 94.6% (122/129) of respondents' hospitals had adopted a telemedicine system; however, 34.1% (44/129) of the physicians had never used a telemedicine system and only 9.3% (12/129) used one frequently (≥1 time/week). A total of 91.5% (118/129) and 88.4% (114/129) of physicians were willing to use telemedicine during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. Physicians considered the inability to examine patients in person to be the biggest concern (101/129, 78.3%) and the biggest barrier (76/129, 58.9%) to implementing telemedicine. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine is not yet universally available for all health care needs and has not been used frequently by physicians in this study. However, the willingness of physicians to use telemedicine was high. Telemedicine still has many problems to overcome.

17.
Telemed J E Health ; 28(3): 325-333, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254372

ABSTRACT

Background: Public health measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, may increase the risk for suicide among American Indians due to decreased social connectedness that is crucial to wellbeing. Telehealth represents a potential solution, but barriers to effective suicide prevention may exist. Materials and Methods: In collaboration with Tribal and Urban Indian Health Center providers, this study measured suicide prevention practices during COVID-19. A 44-item Likert-type, web-based survey was distributed to Montana-based professionals who directly provide suicide prevention services to American Indians at risk for suicide. Descriptive statistics were calculated for survey items, and Mann-Whitney U tests examined the differences in telehealth use, training, skills among Montana geographic areas, and barriers between providers and their clients/patients. Results: Among the 80 respondents, two-thirds agreed or strongly agreed that American Indians experienced greater social disconnection since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Almost 98% agreed that telehealth was needed, and 93% were willing to use telehealth for suicide prevention services. Among current users, 75% agreed telehealth was effective for suicide prevention. Over one-third of respondents reported using telehealth for the first time during COVID-19 pandemic, and 30% use telehealth at least "usually" since the COVID-19 pandemic began, up from 6.3%. Compared with their own experiences, providers perceive their American Indian client/patients as experiencing greater barriers to telehealth. Discussion: Telehealth was increasingly utilized for suicide prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunities to improve telehealth access should be explored, including investments in telehealth technologies for American Indians at risk for suicide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Montana , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide/prevention & control
18.
J Aging Soc Policy ; 33(4-5): 509-521, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246580

ABSTRACT

Cross-border services and support are becoming an increasingly important part of Hong Kong's social policy because an increasing number of its older citizens are choosing to live in mainland China. Unfortunately, with the recent outbreak of COVID-19, medical services for cross-border older adults have been blocked due to strict immigration controls. This article examines the effects of COVID-19 on these older adults, with a specific focus on the interruption of medical services and the remedial measures taken by the government and non-governmental organizations. It also discusses the prospect of delivering care for cross-border older people using telemedicine, which is considered one of the most important methods for overcoming space-distance and reducing the risk of cross-contamination caused by close contact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chronic Disease/drug therapy , Emigration and Immigration , Telemedicine , Aged , China , Hong Kong/ethnology , Humans , Public Policy
19.
Diabet Med ; 38(9): e14611, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247167

ABSTRACT

AIM: To examine psychosocial and behavioural impacts of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown restrictions among adults with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: Participants enrolled in the PRogrEssion of DIabetic ComplicaTions (PREDICT) cohort study in Melbourne, Australia (n = 489 with a baseline assessment pre-2020) were invited to complete a phone/online follow-up assessment in mid-2020 (i.e., amidst COVID-19 lockdown restrictions). Repeated assessments that were compared with pre-COVID-19 baseline levels included anxiety symptoms (7-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder scale [GAD-7]), depressive symptoms (8-item Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-8]), diabetes distress (Problem Areas in Diabetes scale [PAID]), physical activity/sedentary behaviour, alcohol consumption and diabetes self-management behaviours. Additional once-off measures at follow-up included COVID-19-specific worry, quality of life (QoL), and healthcare appointment changes (telehealth engagement and appointment cancellations/avoidance). RESULTS: Among 470 respondents (96%; aged 66 ± 9 years, 69% men), at least 'moderate' worry about COVID-19 infection was reported by 31%, and 29%-73% reported negative impacts on QoL dimensions (greatest for: leisure activities, feelings about the future, emotional well-being). Younger participants reported more negative impacts (p < 0.05). Overall, anxiety/depressive symptoms were similar at follow-up compared with pre-COVID-19, but diabetes distress reduced (p < 0.001). Worse trajectories of anxiety/depressive symptoms were observed among those who reported COVID-19-specific worry or negative QoL impacts (p < 0.05). Physical activity trended lower (~10%), but sitting time, alcohol consumption and glucose-monitoring frequency remained unchanged. 73% of participants used telehealth, but 43% cancelled a healthcare appointment and 39% avoided new appointments despite perceived need. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 lockdown restrictions negatively impacted QoL, some behavioural risk factors and healthcare utilisation in adults with type 2 diabetes. However, generalised anxiety and depressive symptoms remained relatively stable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/psychology , Health Behavior , Psychology/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Exercise/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Isolation/psychology , Quality of Life/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation/psychology
20.
Ageing Res Rev ; 69: 101373, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242880

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is relevant in older people. Attention was given to the nursing homes in which frailer people are usually admitted. In this review, we discuss the approaches for daily problems found in nursing home as geriatricians and potentially new research directions. We start with the problem of the older people affected by dementia and Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia for which also the execution of a simple diagnostic test (such as nasopharyngeal swab) could be problematic. Another important problem is the management of wandering patients for which the re-organization of the spaces and vaccination could be the solutions. The relationship with families is another important problem, also from a medico-legal point of view, that can be faced using video conferencing tools. Moreover, we discussed the importance of stratifying prognosis in older nursing home residents for the best management and therapeutically approach, including palliative care, also using telemedicine and the inclusion of prognostic tools in daily clinical practice. Finally, we approached the therapeutical issues in older people that suggests the necessity of future research for finding older-friendly medications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Aged , Dementia/therapy , Geriatricians , Humans , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2
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