Survey of attitudes of individuals who underwent remote prenatal check-ups and consultations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021 Apr 21. doi: 10.1111/jog.14806. Online ahead of print.


AIM: Perinatal telemedicine efforts have commenced worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As there have been no prior studies on the acceptance of telemedicine by pregnant women, we conducted this survey to investigate the same.

METHODS: We conducted an anonymous questionnaire survey of pregnant women who underwent telemedicine check-ups from March 4 to June 30, 2020, using a mobile fetal heart rate monitor and video call system through the Hokkaido University Hospital.

RESULTS: Out of the 77 individuals who received prenatal telemedicine check-ups, 54 individuals (70%) had complications, and 64 individuals (83%) consented for the questionnaire survey. In the video call system, 18 individuals (28%) were found to be unwell and 17 individuals (27%) experienced difficulty using the mobile fetal heart rate monitoring device. Assuming scores for face-to-face consultations were five out of 10, the mean score for satisfaction was 4.2, but 19 (30%) women felt equal or greater satisfaction with face-to-face consultations. If not for the threat of COVID-19, only four individuals (6%) proactively expressed a desire for telemedicine, with a significantly less demand observed among primiparous women than multiparous women. The permissible additional financial burden enabling telemedicine was $10 or less for 80% of subjects.

CONCLUSION: In this small preliminary study, 30% of the pregnant women felt equal or greater satisfaction with telemedicine than face-to-face consultations. A stronger demand for telemedicine was exhibited by multiparous women than primiparous women. Thus, a system that would be advantages by limiting subjects and enabling low-cost examinations is required for making perinatal telemedicine more popular.

PMID:33880830 | DOI:10.1111/jog.14806