HumanInsight Perception of Health Care Providers and Users on Teleconsultation in Times of COVID-19 in Brazil: An Exploratory Interview Study
Telemed J E Health. 2022 Oct 25. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0132. Online ahead of print.
Background: In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, teleconsultation was considered an important instrument in the fight against the health crisis, with temporary mandates changing the current legislation to expand its use. This study examined the perceptions of health care providers and users regarding teleconsultation. Methods: The study consisted of a national survey of 1,089 participants, of which 480 were health care providers and 609 were users, carried out through two semistructured questionnaires administered between June and August 2020, using six categories of analysis for teleconsultation-quality, remuneration, duties and responsibilities, experience and positioning regarding use, and technology-and an additional question about the benefits and harms of telemedicine. Results: The research indicated that, although face-to-face care is favored, there is an important movement toward accepting virtual care, even though there are relative differences in perception regarding the six categories analyzed. Discussion: Regarding the benefits of telemedicine, issues such as access, practicality, agility, convenience, easiness, and speed stood out as well as concerns such as contact, quality, impersonality, distance, errors, and falsehood, among others. Conclusions: Although there is evidence of benefits and limitations, bringing to light that contributions from the perception of health care providers and users can help promote debates to establish teleconsultation on a permanent basis in Brazil.
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