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What do asthmatic patients think about telemedicine visits?


C. Sabina Sousa claudiasabinafsousa@gmail.com1,2, M. Trigueiro Barbosa1,3, R. Aguiar1, F. Benito-Garcia1, M. Morais-Almeida1,4

Show more: Authors information and Publication history

Doi
http://doi.org/10.23822/EurAnnACI.1764-1489.182

Summary
Introduction. Due to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and the national emergency state, virtual visits were implemented as an alternative to in-person visits. With this study we aimed to establish asthma patients' general satisfaction with the quality of health care provided by virtual visits (phone or video calls). Materials and methods. A questionnaire (9 questions) was published on the Facebook page of the Portuguese Association of Asthmatics. It was available online for general self-reported asthmatic patients to answer for one month, starting on 11st May 2020. The survey only allowed one answer per registered user. Results. Fifty-five responses were obtained. Patients were satisfied with communication with providers (> 88%); nevertheless, one-half evaluated the virtual visit as inferior when compared to in-person visits. About one third attributed a classification of 6 or less (0-10 scale, 0 being the worst and 10 the best consultation possible), but still most of the patients would either recommend it or use this kind of medical visits in the future, even outside the actual pandemic context. Patients also referred some important limitations, as lack of physical examination and the fact that the medical visit was more impersonal. Only 27% had technical issues accessing virtual visits. Positive aspects were also named, such as virtual visits being practical and avoiding the need to move to the hospital. Discussion and conclusions.  Our survey revealed that small changes could further increase patients' satisfaction, adherence, and confidence in telemedicine. Although presenting some limitations, virtual visits seem to be generally well accepted by asthmatic patients and it might be a good alternative for in-person visits, at least in such difficult times when social distancing is recommended.

Key words
Asthma; COVID-19; survey; telemedicine; virtual visits. 

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