Acceptance of Telemedicine Compared to In-Person Consultation From the Providers' and Users' Perspectives: Multicenter, Cross-Sectional Study in Dermatology

Lara Valeska Maul, Anna Sophie Jahn, Gustavo S P Pamplona, Markus Streit, Lorena Gantenbein, Simon Müller, Mia-Louise Nielsen, Christian Greis, Alexander A Navarini, Julia-Tatjana Maul

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Teledermatology is currently finding its place in modern health care worldwide as a rapidly evolving field.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the acceptance of teledermatology compared to in-person consultation from the perspective of patients and professionals.

METHODS: This multicenter, cross-sectional pilot study was performed at secondary and tertiary referral centers of dermatology in Switzerland from August 2019 to January 2020. A customized questionnaire addressing demographics and educational data, experience with telemedicine, and presumed willingness to replace in-patient consultations with teledermatology was completed by dermatological patients, dermatologists, and health care workers in dermatology.

RESULTS: Among a total of 664 participants, the ones with previous telemedicine experience (171/664, 25.8%) indicated a high level of overall experience with it (patients: 73/106, 68.9%, dermatologists: 6/8, 75.0%, and health care workers: 27/34, 79.4%). Patients, dermatologists, and health care workers were most likely willing to replace in-person consultations with teledermatology for minor health issues (353/512, 68.9%; 37/45, 82.2%; and 89/107, 83.2%, respectively). We observed a higher preference for telemedicine among individuals who have already used telemedicine (patients: P<.001, dermatologists: P=.03, and health care workers, P=.005), as well as among patients with higher educational levels (P=.003).

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that the preference for teledermatology has a high potential to increase over time since previous experience with telemedicine and a higher level of education were associated with a higher willingness to replace in-patient consultations with telemedicine. We assume that minor skin problems are the most promising issue in teledermatology. Our findings emphasize the need for dermatologists to be actively involved in the transition to teledermatology.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04495036; https://classic.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04495036.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummere45384
TidsskriftJMIR dermatology
Vol/bind6
Sider (fra-til)e45384
ISSN2562-0959
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 11 aug. 2023

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