Introduction: When Italy was placed under lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic from 9 March to 18 May 2020, alternative approaches to delivering care-such as telemedicine-were promoted for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus (DM). The aim of this study was to analyze patients' perception of, and satisfaction with the telehealth services offered during the COVID-19 emergency at an outpatient diabetes care unit in Italy. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 250 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who regularly attended our diabetes care unit. Data were collected by means of telephone interviews, asking patients how they perceived the telehealth services, and their satisfaction with the televisit and computer-based care. A standardized questionnaire was administered: there were questions answered using a five-point Likert scale, and one open-ended question. Patients' demographic, anthropometric and biological data were collected from their medical records. Correlations between patients' characteristics, their perception of telemedicine, and their satisfaction with the televisit were examined. Spearman's rank-order correlation coefficient ρ (rho) and Kendall's rank correlation coefficient τ (tau) were used as nonparametric measures of the strength of the association between the scores obtained for the two ordinal variables, Perception and Satisfaction, and between other clinical parameters. Principal component analysis (PCA) was also used to assess overall links between the variables. Results: Almost half of the interviewees expressed a strongly positive perception of the medical services received, and more than 60% were very satisfied with the telehealth service provided during the COVID-19 emergency. There was a strong correlation between patients' perception and satisfaction ratings (p<0.0001). Duration of disease showed a significant positive correlation with patients' satisfaction with their medical care. By means of PCA, it was found that BMI correlated inversely with both perception and satisfaction. Following a qualitative analysis of patients' answers to the open-ended question, contact with their specialist was important to them: it was reassuring and a source of scientifically correct information about their disease and the association between COVID-19 and diabetes. Conclusions: Based on our telephone interviews, patients appreciated the telehealth approach and were satisfied with it, regardless of the characteristics of their disease. Telemedicine proved essential to avoid interrupting the continuity of care, and therefore had not only clinical, but also psycho-social repercussions.

Telemedicine and its acceptance by patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus at a single care center during the COVID-19 emergency: A cross-sectional observational study

Sartore G.;Ragazzi E.;Lapolla A.
2023

Abstract

Introduction: When Italy was placed under lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic from 9 March to 18 May 2020, alternative approaches to delivering care-such as telemedicine-were promoted for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus (DM). The aim of this study was to analyze patients' perception of, and satisfaction with the telehealth services offered during the COVID-19 emergency at an outpatient diabetes care unit in Italy. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 250 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who regularly attended our diabetes care unit. Data were collected by means of telephone interviews, asking patients how they perceived the telehealth services, and their satisfaction with the televisit and computer-based care. A standardized questionnaire was administered: there were questions answered using a five-point Likert scale, and one open-ended question. Patients' demographic, anthropometric and biological data were collected from their medical records. Correlations between patients' characteristics, their perception of telemedicine, and their satisfaction with the televisit were examined. Spearman's rank-order correlation coefficient ρ (rho) and Kendall's rank correlation coefficient τ (tau) were used as nonparametric measures of the strength of the association between the scores obtained for the two ordinal variables, Perception and Satisfaction, and between other clinical parameters. Principal component analysis (PCA) was also used to assess overall links between the variables. Results: Almost half of the interviewees expressed a strongly positive perception of the medical services received, and more than 60% were very satisfied with the telehealth service provided during the COVID-19 emergency. There was a strong correlation between patients' perception and satisfaction ratings (p<0.0001). Duration of disease showed a significant positive correlation with patients' satisfaction with their medical care. By means of PCA, it was found that BMI correlated inversely with both perception and satisfaction. Following a qualitative analysis of patients' answers to the open-ended question, contact with their specialist was important to them: it was reassuring and a source of scientifically correct information about their disease and the association between COVID-19 and diabetes. Conclusions: Based on our telephone interviews, patients appreciated the telehealth approach and were satisfied with it, regardless of the characteristics of their disease. Telemedicine proved essential to avoid interrupting the continuity of care, and therefore had not only clinical, but also psycho-social repercussions.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3469779
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