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Actual Telemedicine Needs of Japanese Patients with Neurological Disorders in the COVID-19 Pandemic

HumanInsight Actual Telemedicine Needs of Japanese Patients with Neurological Disorders in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Intern Med. 2022 Nov 23. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.9702-22. Online ahead of print.


Objective During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many social activities have moved online using applications for digital devices (e.g. computers, smartphones). We investigated the needs of telemedicine and trends in medical status and social care situations of Japanese patients with neurological disorders in order to estimate their affinity for an online telemedicine application. Methods We designed an original questionnaire for the present study that asked participants what problems they had with hospital visits, how the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their lives, and whether or not they would like to receive telemedicine. Patients The present study included volunteer caregivers, participants with Parkinson's disease (PD), epilepsy, stroke, dementia, immune-mediated neurological disease (IMMD), spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), headache, myopathy, and other neurological diseases from Okayama University Hospital. Results A total of 29.6% of patients wanted to use telemedicine. Patients with headaches (60.0%) and epilepsy (38.1%) were more likely to want to use telemedicine than patients with PD (17.8%) or stroke (19.0%). Almost 90% of patients had access to a digital device, and there was no association between favoring telemedicine, ownership of a digital device, hospital visiting time, or waiting time at the hospital, although age was associated with motivation to telemedicine use (52.6 vs. 62.2 years old, p <0.001*). Conclusion We can contribute to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and the medical economy by promoting telemedicine, especially for young patients with headaches or epilepsy.

PMID:36418105 | DOI:10.2169/internalmedicine.9702-22

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