HumanInsight A questionnaire-based survey of acceptability and satisfaction of virtual neurology clinic during COVID-19 lockdown: a preliminary study
Acta Neurol Belg. 2022 Jul 7. doi: 10.1007/s13760-022-02004-0. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Telemedicine during this pandemic acts as a lifeline for many non-COVID patients especially with chronic neurological diseases. The aim of present study was to evaluate cost effectiveness and level of satisfaction amongst patients from teleneurology outpatient department (OPD).
METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey, having questions both in Hindi and English was conducted via telemedicine facility at Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. Demographic variables, illness details, travel distance and time taken, travel expenditure, level of satisfaction and preferred choice among tele OPD versus in-person OPD once pandemic ends were recorded.
RESULTS: Total 1388 patients filled the online COVID-19 teleneurology survey google form. Mean age was 39.21 ± 16.72 years. Majority (N = 824, 59%) were males. Six hundred (43%) patients' educational qualification were ≤ 10th standard. Majority of patients (N = 840, 60.5%) belonged to the rural background. Headache (N = 424, 30.5%) followed by backache (N = 220, 16%), stroke (N = 176, 13%) and seizure (N = 148, 11%) were the common illnesses. Travel time of > 5 hours was saved in 496 (36%) patients and travel expenditure of > Rs100 in 796 (57%) patients. About 96% (N = 1332) felt satisfied with the treatment advice via teleconsultation.
DISCUSSION: Teleneurology facility is not only feasible but also affordable and acceptable in various neurological conditions. The chief reasons being no waiting time, saving of travelling time and travel expenditure with good satisfaction.
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