Real-time teleophthalmology video consultation: an analysis of patient satisfaction in rural Western Australia

Benjamin Kenneth James Host, Angus Turner, Josephine Muir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Teleophthalmology, particularly real-time video consultation, holds great potential in Australia and similar countries worldwide, where geography, population and medical workforce distribution make it difficult to provide specialist eye services outside of major cities. Assessment and referrals from rural optometrists are vital to the success of teleophthalmology. While there is good evidence for the efficacy of such services, there is limited evidence for patient satisfaction with video consultation. Methods: To evaluate patient satisfaction with teleophthalmology, the current study recruited patients who underwent a video consultation with Lions Outback Vision, for a follow-up telephone-based questionnaire assessing satisfaction. Regression analysis was performed assessing which demographic features and which features of the video consultation itself were associated with highest overall satisfaction. Results: One hundred and nine of the 137 eligible patients completed the questionnaire (79.6 per cent; 55 per cent male; mean age 64.61 years). The majority of the participants were either ‘Very satisfied’ (69.1 per cent) or ‘Satisfied’ (24.5 per cent) with the service. No one reported being either ‘Dissatisfied’ or ‘Very dissatisfied’. Linear regression did not reveal any demographic or follow-up variables as predictive of greater total satisfaction; however, participants who were older, felt they could easily explain their medical problems to the doctor in the video consultation and believed that telemedicine enabled them to save money and time, and were more likely to report higher overall satisfaction. Conclusion: Teleophthalmology is a promising new way to overcome barriers to the delivery of eye care services to rural and remote populations. This study demonstrates a high level of overall satisfaction with teleophthalmological video consultation and patients are accepting of this emerging consultation modality, regardless of age. © 2017 Optometry Australia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
JournalClinical & experimental optometry : journal of the Australian Optometrical Association.
Volume101
Issue number1
Early online date23 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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