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1.
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
2.
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
3.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab ; 106(2): e1060-e1061, 2021 01 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484818
4.
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
5.
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
6.
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.

7.
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.

8.
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
9.
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
10.
11.
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.

12.
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
13.
BMJ Open ; 11(5): e048293, 2021 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236462

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic compelled health systems to protect patients and medical personnel during transit in hospitals by minimising transfers, prompting the use of telehealth systems. In the field of neurology, telemedicine has been used in emergency settings for acute stroke management between spoke and hub hospital networks, where good outcomes have been achieved. However, data on the use of telemedicine in non-stroke acute neurological conditions accessing the emergency department (ED) are currently missing. METHODS AND ANALYSES: This is an interventional, open-label trial on the use of teleconsultation in the ED for neurological diseases other than stroke. The study aims to develop a remote consultancy system (TeleNeurological Evaluation and Support, TeleNS) for patients with acute neurological symptoms referred to hospital facilities without a 24-hour availability of a neurologist consultant (spoke hospitals). The study population will include 100 ED patients referred to two spoke hospitals in 6 months, who will be asked to perform teleconsultation instead of inperson visits. As a control group, retrospectively available data from patients admitted to the ED of spoke hospitals during the same time period over the last 2 years will be evaluated. The primary objective is to assess whether a TeleNS for the ED guarantees a faster but qualitatively non-inferior diagnostic/therapeutic work-up if compared with inperson examination, assuring the availability of all the necessary examinations and treatments with consistent time-saving. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The trial was designed following the national guidelines on clinical investigation on telemedicine provided by the Italian Ministry of Health and according to the Standard Protocol Items for Randomized Trials statement guidelines. This research protocol was approved by Comitato Etico Area Vasta Emilia Nord in September 2020 (number/identification: 942/2020/DISP/AOUMO SIRER ID 805) and was written without patient involvement. Patients' associations will be involved in the dissemination of study design and results. The results of the study will be presented during scientific symposia or published in scientific journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04611295.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Patient Prefer Adherence ; 15: 945-952, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234620

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Hemato-oncology patients are at high risk for morbidity and mortality from coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The resultant heightened anxiety among these patients may negatively affect adherence to therapy and treatment-related outcome. We aimed to assess whether the adoption of precautionary measures provided by the medical team led to a reduction in COVID-19-related anxiety and, consequently, to successful execution of treatment plans. METHODS: All adult hemato-oncology patients actively treated or being followed-up at the outpatient service at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center between March 25 and May 3, 2020, were invited to answer a questionnaire that focused on their anxiety and adherence to treatment following new measures to reduce risk of infection during the first COVID-19 outbreak. RESULTS: One hundred and fifty patients (representing 24% of those being approached), average age 67 years, 52% male, and 57% undergoing antineoplastic therapy, responded to the survey. The introduction of precautionary measures resulted in a significant reduction in anxiety level in all patients, irrespective of age, sex, or treatment status. Attendance to scheduled visits in day care and outpatient clinics remained unchanged. Adherence to planned blood and imaging tests were 81% and 73%, respectively, and 93% of the patients were satisfied with their medical care. Thirty-two percent of patients used telemedicine. Satisfaction with telemedicine was highest among non-actively treated patients and those experiencing high anxiety levels. CONCLUSION: Reorganization of the hemato-oncology unit and provision of information to patients reduced COVID-19-related anxiety and enabled the same delivery of therapy as that prior to the pandemic.

15.
J Telemed Telecare ; : 1357633X211008786, 2021 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225731

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The need to rapidly implement telehealth at large scale during the COVID-19 pandemic led to many patients using telehealth for the first time. We assessed the effect of structured pre-visit preparatory telephone calls on success of telehealth visits and examined risk factors for unsuccessful visits. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was carried out of 45,803 adult patients scheduled for a total of 64,447 telehealth appointments between March and July 2020 at an academic medical center. A subset of patients received a structured pre-visit phone call. Demographic factors and inclusion of a pre-visit call were analysed by logistic regression. Primary outcomes were non-completion of any visit and completion of phone-only versus audio-visual telehealth visits. RESULTS: A pre-visit telephone call to a subset of patients significantly increased the likelihood of a successful telehealth visit (OR 0.54; 95% CI: 0.48-0.60). Patients aged 18-30 years, those with non-commercial insurance or those of Black race were more likely to have incomplete visits. Compared to age 18-30, increasing age increased likelihood of a failed video visit: 31-50 years (OR 1.31; 95% CI: 1.13-1.51), 51-70 years (OR 2.98; 2.60-3.42) and >70 years (OR 4.16; 3.58-4.82). Those with non-commercial insurance and those of Black race (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.67-1.92) were more likely to have a failed video visit. DISCUSSION: A structured pre-call to patients improved the likelihood of a successful video visit during widespread adoption of telehealth. Structured pre-calls to patients may be an important tool to help reduce gaps in utilization among groups.

16.
Tumori ; 108(4): 357-363, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223710

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine, and particularly video-consulting, has rapidly accelerated since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak. The role of e-healthcare for the management of patients with lung diseases is evolving. We report the results of the initial experience of the SmartDoc Project, a telemedicine program activated in a cancer center (Istituto Nazionale Tumori) at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic onset in Italy. METHOD: The SmartDoc project was established to guarantee continuity of healthcare services for patients with lung cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The project was promoted within the National Health System to create a regulatory framework to authorize and reimburse telemedicine in its care delivery for all patients. At the end of the virtual meeting, patients were asked to answer an online survey. RESULTS: From June 19 to December 1, 2020, 83 patients participated in the SmartDoc project and received a teleconsultation. The majority of patients were older than 65 years. Among the 83 televisits, 14 (16.9%) were new visits, 2 (2.4%) second opinions, 4 (4.8%) 30-day postsurgery controls, and 63 (75.9%) long-term follow-up visits. A "complete satisfaction" score (5 out of 5 points) was reported in 70.59% of all the respondents; most patients (76.5%) preferred video-consulting and defined it as better than or comparable to an in-person visit. CONCLUSION: The favorable initial results of this study suggest that telemedicine should continue beyond the pandemic crisis and should be embedded in a more efficient and accessible healthcare system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lung Neoplasms , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/epidemiology , Lung Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods
17.
Nutrients ; 13(4)2021 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206372

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, billions of people have gone into lockdown, facing pandemic related challenges that engender weight gain, especially in the obese. We report the results of an online survey, conducted during Israel's first quarantine, of 279 adults treated in hospital-based obesity clinics with counseling, medications, surgery, endoscopic procedures, or any combination of these for weight loss. In this study, we assessed the association between changes in dietary and lifestyle habits and body weight, and the benefits of receiving weight management care remotely through telemedicine during lockdown. Compared to patients not receiving obesity care via telemedicine, patients receiving this care were more likely to lose weight (OR, 2.79; p = 0.042) and also to increase participation in exercise (OR, 2.4; p = 0.022). While 40% of respondents reported consuming more sweet or salty processed snacks and 33% reported less vegetables and fruits, 65% reported more homemade foods. At the same time, 40% of respondents reported a reduction in exercise and 52% reported a decline in mood. Alterations in these eating patterns, as well as in exercise habits and mood, were significantly associated with weight changes. This study highlights that lockdown affects health behaviors associated with weight change, and advocates for the use of telemedicine to provide ongoing obesity care during future quarantines in order to promote weight loss and prevent weight gain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Feeding Behavior , Health Behavior , Obesity/therapy , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Aged , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diet , Exercise , Female , Humans , Life Style , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/epidemiology , Obesity Management/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Weight Gain , Weight Loss
18.
Telemed J E Health ; 28(2): 199-211, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196969

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To identify organizational and external factors associated with medical center video telehealth uptake (i.e., the proportion of patients using telemedicine) before and early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational study using cross-sectional data for all 139 U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). We used logistic regression analyses to identify factors that predicted whether a VAMC was in the top quartile of VA Video Connect (VVC) telehealth uptake for primary care and mental health care. Results: All 139 VAMCs increased their VVC uptake at least 2-fold early in the pandemic, with most increasing uptake between 5- and 10-fold. Pre-COVID-19, higher VVC uptake in primary care was weakly and positively associated with having more high-risk patients, negatively associated with having more long-distance patients, and positively associated with the prior fiscal year's VVC uptake. During COVID-19, the positive association with high-risk patients and the negative association with long-distance patients strengthened, while weaker broadband coverage was negatively associated with VVC uptake. For mental health care, having more long-distance patients was positively associated with higher VVC uptake pre-COVID-19, but this relationship reversed during COVID-19. Discussion: Despite the marked increase in VVC uptake early in the COVID-19 pandemic, significant VAMC-level variation indicates that VVC adoption was more difficult for some medical centers, particularly those with poorer broadband coverage and less prior VVC experience. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings highlight opportunities for medical centers, VA Central Office, and other federal entities to ensure equitable access to video telehealth.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Veterans Health
19.
Bull Cancer ; 108(6): 589-595, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188362

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The management of older cancer patients has been highly challenging for clinicians in a health-care system operating at maximum capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed data from 9 different institutions. The primary endpoint was to assess the prevalence of adapted patient care during the pandemic for elderly cancer patients. The secondary endpoint was to assess the incidence of hospitalization and mortality due to COVID-19. All patients were older than 65years of age. RESULTS: We analyzed data from 332 outpatients' case files between 9th of March and 30th of April 2020. The median age was 75years (range: 65-101) and 53% were male. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of the outpatients received modified patient care, defined as postponement or cancellation of surgery, irradiation scheme adapted, systemic treatment or the use of telemedicine. Among patients with localized cancer, 60% had a change in management strategy due to the pandemic. Changes in management strategy were made for 53% of patients at the metastatic stage. GCSF was used , in 83% of patients, increasing considerably in the context of the pandemic. Sixty-nine percent of physicians used telemedicine. In the final analysis, only one patient was hospitalized for COVID-19 infection. No deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in elderly cancer patients during this time period. CONCLUSION: Our study is the first to assess modification of patient care in elderly cancer outpatients during an epidemic. With this unprecedented crisis, our objective is to protect our patients from infection via protective barrier measures and social distancing, but also to guarantee the continuity of cancer care without overexposing this fragile population. Physicians were able to adapt their practice and used new forms of management, like telemedicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Neoplasms/mortality , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data
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