This article was originally published here
Telemed J E Health. 2021 Jan 15. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2020.0343. Online ahead of print.
Background: The trend of telemedicine is exponentially increasing worldwide due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. However, patient satisfaction is always a concern regarding the use of telemedicine. Introduction: The aim of this study is to evaluate the perception and satisfaction level of patients toward the use of telemedicine during the pandemic of COVID-19 among Pakistani population. Materials and Methods: The survey questionnaires were distributed to 251 patients who received telemedicine consultation in any of three specializations: orthopedic, ophthalmology, and general medicine. The questionnaire contains 15 questions that covered four categories of patient satisfaction: interpersonal communication, caring, care delivery, and proficiency. Descriptive and analytical statistics were obtained by analyzing data using SPSS software version 20. Results: A total of 251 patients responded to the telemedicine questionnaire. Overall, 61.35% patients reported that they did not need any support for using technology during consultation and 96.41% of the patient population reported that telemedicine saved their travel time. It was found that gender, education, and age were significantly associated with the ease in technology with the p-value 0.012, 0.004 and <0.001, respectively, whereas the use of telemedicine again in future is found to be significantly associated with only education and age p-value <0.001. The statistically significant difference was found in three specialized consultation regarding the overall satisfaction, χ2 = 5.83, p-value = 0.05, with a mean rank in orthopedic is 133.6, 134.4 in ophthalmology, and 113.6 in internal medicine. Conclusion: Telemedicine is convenient and satisfactory way to provide health care services during pandemic. Although a considerable number of participants reported good response for telemedicine, there is a need of establishing local telemedicine guidelines, training of consultants and advancement in technology.