Which patients are most resistant to telehealth?

Patients who are older, male, Black, non-English-speaking or don't have a college education were less likely to choose telehealth options for their eye care during the pandemic, according to a study published Sept. 23 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore analyzed health insurance claims data for 1,911 ophthalmologic and optometric patients who had 2,262 telehealth visits at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, a specialty hospital in Boston, throughout 2020. They then compared the data to statistics from 2019 and in-person visits.

Below are the characteristics that researchers found to be linked to lower use of telehealth, along with their odds ratios:

  1. Older age (0.99)

  2. Male (0.86)

  3. Educational level of high school or less (0.83)

  4. Black (0.69)

  5. Non-English-speaking (0.63)

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