HumanInsight Brief Report on Teleconsultation in Lung Cancer: Toward a Semiotic Paradigm Shift?
JTO Clin Res Rep. 2022 May 6;3(6):100333. doi: 10.1016/j.jtocrr.2022.100333. eCollection 2022 Jun.
INTRODUCTION: Telehealth is taking an increasingly important part of medicine. This practice change is being accelerated by the pandemic linked to coronavirus disease 2019. Oncology is a medical specialty for which this paradigm shift is particularly relevant.
METHODS: We developed a survey aiming at evaluating the use of teleconsultation by physicians managing patients with lung cancer in France. The survey was available online from December 15, 2020, to February 10, 2021.
RESULTS: Answers were obtained from 142 clinicians (73.9% pneumologists, 18.3% medical oncologists, and 7.7% with another specialty), 129 (90.8%) of whom had already performed teleconsultation. Among those, 123 (95.3%) started after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. In addition, 72.9% had a moderate usage of this tool (<10 teleconsultations/mo). The frequency of clinicians never using teleconsultation was higher in private practices (p = 0.029). The two clinical situations for which teleconsultation was frequently used were visits during treatment without imaging assessment (53.5%) and post-treatment surveillance (80.3%). Depending on the type of treatment received, the frequency of teleconsultation was variable. Lung cancer subtype also affected the clinician's practice. Indeed, 47.2% never proposed this tool for SCLC. Teleconsultation was considered to be of no contribution, a moderate contribution, a significant contribution, or a revolution of the clinical practice for 14.1%, 66.2%, 10.6%, and 2.1% of the respondents, respectively. The participants expected to decrease, stabilize, or increase their teleconsultation activity in 18.3%, 52.8%, and 23.2% of the cases, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Most thoracic oncologists in France are using teleconsultation, mostly as an additional tool that should not replace the doctor-patient in-person relationship.
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