Patient perspective on telemedicine replacing physical consultations in urology during the COVID-19 lockdown in Denmark

Emma Heeno, Irmelin Biesenbach, Charlotte Englund, Martin Lund, Anja Toft, Lars Lund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: In March-April 2020, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown in Denmark, the Danish Health Authorities recommended that, where possible, face-to-face patient-physician consultations be replaced by telephone consultations. The aim of this study was to obtain patients’ evaluation of their telemedicine experience. Methods: Patients who were candidates for telemedicine consultations were recruited based on their urological ailment, necessity for follow-up and comorbidity. New referrals including patients with suspicion of cancer were not candidates for telemedicine. In total, 548 patients had their appointment altered during the period from 13 March to 30 April 2020. Postal questionnaires were sent to 548 patients and 300 (54.7%) replied. Results: In total, 280 patient answered, 224 (80%) men and 56 (20%) women, mean age 69 years (range 18–91) of whom 180 (64.3%) had a benign and 100 (35.7%) a malignant diagnosis. Twenty (6.7%) respondents did not remember their telephone consultation and were therefore excluded. Telephone consultation satisfaction was reported by 230 (85.0%) patients, but they would not prefer video consultations over telephone consultations, and only 102 (36.4%) would prefer telephone consultations in the future. Patients’ age, sex and distance to the hospital did not seem to be associated with telephone consultation satisfaction (age p = 0.17; sex p = 0.99; distance p = 0.27, respectively). In total, 226 (80.7%) were medically assessed as being at risk for COVID, but 74 (26.4%) subjectively evaluated themselves as being at risk. Conclusions: In general (85.0%), urological patients were satisfied with telephone consultations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Urology
Volume55
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)177-183
ISSN2168-1805
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • consultations
  • Covid-19
  • outpatient clinic
  • questionnaire

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