HumanInsight Influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall physician visits and telemedicine use among patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in Japan
J Epidemiol. 2022 Jun 11. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20220032. Online ahead of print.
BackgroundRegular visits with healthcare professionals are important for preventing serious complications in patients with diabetes. The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to clarify whether there was any suppression of physician visits among patients with diabetes during the spread of COVID-19, in Japan and to assess whether telemedicine contributed to continued visits.MethodsWe used the JMDC Claims database which contains the monthly claims reported from July 2018 to May 2020 and included 4595 (type 1) and 123,686 (type 2) patients with diabetes.Using a difference-in-differences analysis, we estimated the changes in the monthly numbers of physician visits or telemedicine per 100 patients in April and May 2020 compared with the same months in 2019.ResultsFor patients with type 1 diabetes, the estimates for total overall physician visits were -2.53 (95% CI, -4.63 to 0.44) in April and -8.80 (-10.85 to -6.74) in May; those for telemedicine visits were 0.71 (0.47 to 0.96) in April and 0.54 (0.32 to 0.76) in May. For patients with type 2 diabetes, the estimates for overall physician visits were -2.50 (-2.95 to -2.04) in April and -3.74 (-4.16 to -3.32) in May; those for telemedicine visits were 1.13 (1.07 to 1.20) in April and 0.73 (0.68 to 0.78) in May.ConclusionsThe COVID-19 pandemic was associated with suppression of physician visits and a slight increase in the utilisation of telemedicine among patients with diabetes during April and May 2020.
PMID:35691909 | DOI:10.2188/jea.JE20220032
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