Use of telehealth for HIV care in Italy: Are doctors and patients on the same page? A cross-sectional study

Nicoletta Ciccarelli, Enrica Tamburrini, Simona Di Giambenedetto, Valentina Delle Donne, Alberto Borghetti, Elena Visconti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed outpatient clinical practice, which has led to the need defining digital healthcare modalities to provide telehealth services. The aim of our study was to explore opinions about HIV management via telehealth in a representative, southern central Italian cohort of individuals with HIV (PLWH) and doctors involved in the treatment process. Methods: We enrolled 80 PLWH who have never used telehealth tools and 60 doctors, who administered an anonymous self-report questionnaire to investigate their opinions about telehealth service use. Results: Most of the doctors and patients indicated that they would use telehealth services; however, 88.3% of the doctors and 40% of the PLWH did not want to substitute personal visits with telehealth services. Unlike PLWH, physicians seemed to agree with most of the possible risks of telehealth, such as patients’ isolation from the hospital system (71.7%), interaction difficulty (46.7%) and lower quality of patient assessment (63.3%). The doctors focused on the qualitative aspects of telehealth services reducing patients’ exposure to stigma (61.7%), improving quality of patient care (41.7%), and improving privacy (58.3%). By contrast, patients focused on the quantitative aspects of telehealth services improving timely access to care (44%), time saving (63%) and improving interaction with doctor (43%). Conclusions: Both PLWH (especially older patients and those with longer experience of disease management) and doctors welcome the use of telehealth services but disagree using it to substitute medical consultation in person focusing on different possible benefits and risks of telehealth depending on the needs expressed. Thus, our results suggest the need to initiate and expand communication about telehealth between doctors and patients.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-7
Numero di pagine7
RivistaInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021

Keywords

  • AIDS Care
  • COVID-19
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Preference
  • Physicians
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine

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