Patients may prefer hearing 'serious' healthcare results via video, study finds

Many patients report satisfaction using video telemedicine to connect with primary care clinicians, according to new research out of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University.

The researchers — led by Rhea E. Powell, MD, of the university's national academic center for telehealth — conducted in-depth interviews with 19 adult patients who underwent a video visit with their established primary care clinician. The findings, published in Annals of Family Medicine, focused on patient attitudes toward using telemedicine for primary care.

All patients reported overall satisfaction with their video visit, and the majority were interested in continuing to use telemedicine as an alternative to in-person appointments. The primary benefits respondents noted included convenience and cost. However, some patients also worried about privacy and whether clinicians would be able to perform adequate physical exams.

Several patients also voiced feeling more comfortable with video visits and said they'd prefer to receive serious news via video to hasten the process and surround themselves with a supportive environment.

"Primary care video visits are acceptable in a variety of situations," the study authors concluded.

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