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"I'm Not Feeling Like I'm Part of the Conversation" Patients' Perspectives on Communicating in Clinical Video Telehealth Visits.

Gordon HS, Solanki P, Bokhour BG, Gopal RK. "I'm Not Feeling Like I'm Part of the Conversation" Patients' Perspectives on Communicating in Clinical Video Telehealth Visits. Journal of general internal medicine. 2020 Jun 1; 35(6):1751-1758.

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BACKGROUND: Clinical video telehealth (CVT) offers the opportunity to improve access to healthcare providers in medically underserved areas. However, because CVT encounters are mediated through technology, they may result in unintended consequences related to the patient-provider interaction. METHODS: Twenty-seven patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus enrolled in Veteran Affairs Health Care and at least one previous telehealth visit experience were interviewed regarding their perspectives on facilitators and barriers to communication with their provider during their CVT visit. The semi-structured telephone interviews were approximately 30 min and were audio-recorded and transcribed. We conducted a thematic content analysis of the interview transcripts. Codes from the transcripts were grouped into thematic categories using the constant comparison method and each theme is represented with illustrative quotes. RESULTS: We identified several themes related to patients' perspectives on CVT. In general, patients expressed satisfaction with CVT visits including better access to appointments, shorter travel time, and less time in the waiting room. Yet, patients also identified several challenges and concerns about CVT visits compared with in-person visits, including concerns about errors in their care because of perceived difficulty completing the physical exam, perceptions that providers paid less attention to them, barriers to speaking up and asking questions, and difficulty establishing a provider-patient relationship. Patients reported feeling less involved during the visit, difficulty finding opportunities to speak, and feeling rushed by the provider. CONCLUSIONS: Patients believed that CVT can improve their access to care, but could hinder communication with their provider, and some were concerned about the completeness and accuracy of the physical exam.

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