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Lindsay Anne Rhodes, Carrie Huisingh, Christopher A Girkin, Cynthia Owsley; Glaucoma Patient Preferences for Telemedicine. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):5235.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
With an expected 74% increase of the glaucoma population by 2040 and with the majority of glaucoma specialists located in urban centers, glaucoma patients may have difficulty accessing a glaucoma specialist in person. Telemedicine can be used to increase accessibility. Little is known about patients’ current knowledge of and preferences for such a care delivery model. The purpose of this analysis is to identify factors associated with patient knowledge, perceptions, and predispositions for telemedicine use.
Enrolled patients in this observational study were ≥ 60 years of age with a diagnosis of primary open angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension, or glaucoma suspect and were established patients in one of two glaucoma specialists’ urban, academic, tertiary referral clinics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Ophthalmology. A general demographic questionnaire, Life Space Questionnaire, and Preferences for Telemedicine (PT) survey were administered prior to the patient’s exam. PT survey responses were analyzed with Chi-square testing across patients’ age, race, transportation difficulty to the clinic, Life Space score, and distance travelled from home address to clinic.
110 patients were enrolled. 71% and 74% of patients agreed or were neutral to possibly receiving telediagnosis or teleintervention, respectively. Younger patients, aged 60-69, compared to those ≥ 70 had significantly greater knowledge about types of telemedicine: telediagnosis (53% vs 31%, p=0.02), teleintervention (49% vs 24%, p=0.006), teletriage (80% vs 47%, p=0.0004), and telemonitoring (55% vs 27%, p=0.003). White patients had significantly more knowledge about teletriage compared to non-white patients (72% vs 53%, p=0.04). Patients with a Life Space score ≥ 6, meaning greater mobility from home, displayed significantly more knowledge about telediagnosis (49% vs 25%, p=0.02), teleintervention (43% vs 19%, p=0.01), and telemonitoring (47% vs 25%, p=0.03). There were no significant differences in perceived benefits and concerns nor predisposition for telemedicine by demographic and mobility factors.
Knowledge of telemedicine was variable but the majority of glaucoma patients had favorable attitudes toward the idea of using telemedicine for their care.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
Demographic and mobility characteristics of the sample (N=110)
Glaucoma patients’ responses to Preferences for Telemedicine survey
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