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Perception of virtual clinics among Saudi adults with type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic


Perception of virtual clinics among Saudi adults with type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2021 Jun 12;15(4):102175. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2021.06.012. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: We aimed to assess patient perception toward the rapid implementation of virtual phone clinics among Saudi adult patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

METHODS: This cross-sectional, web-based study included Saudi adult patients with T1DM who attended at least one virtual phone visit with the diabetes clinic at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between August 1 and December 31, 2020. Patients anonymously answered a Google form-created Arabic questionnaire. Information about patient characteristics, outcome, and perception of the virtual phone visit were obtained. Data were presented using descriptive statistics, chi-square, one-way ANOVA, independent t-, and Welch’s t-tests.

RESULTS: The questionnaire was sent to 281 patients, of whom 201 completed it. 59.2% patients were satisfied with their overall virtual phone clinic experience, and 75.6% preferred to continue attending the virtual phone clinics in the future. The average perception value of patients toward virtual phone clinics was 67.76 ± 19.9, suggesting good perception among the majority. Negative or neutral views of current health, asking to be physically seen, and missing a virtual appointment were associated with significantly lower average patient perception value (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Most Saudi patients with T1DM have adapted to virtual phone consultations, exhibiting good satisfaction and perception, and high preference to continue using this system in the future. The utilization of the service to assist patients with diabetes is highly encouraged, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategies need to be developed to further enhance the patient experience.

PMID:34186374 | DOI:10.1016/j.dsx.2021.06.012

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