Patient Satisfaction with Telehealth Visits for New Patient Appointments for Pelvic Floor Disorders: A Randomized Trial of Telehealth Versus Standard In-Person Office Visits

Deepanjana Das*, Kimberly Kenton, Margaret Mueller, Christina Lewicky-Gaupp, Sarah Collins, C. Emi Bretschneider, Julia Geynisman-Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Importance: The acceptability and safety of telehealth have been reported in urogynecology for preoperative and postoperative care but not new patient consultation. Objectives: This study aimed to determine if new patient telehealth encounters are noninferior to in-person encounters for women presenting to a urogynecology clinic using a satisfaction questionnaire. Secondary objectives were to describe patient experiences and follow-up. Study Design: A randomized controlled trial of telehealth versus in-person consults for new patients with any urogynecologic condition was conducted. Patients completed the validated Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire 18 (PSQ-18) after the visit. The primary outcome was composite PSQ-18 score. Using a noninferiority margin of 5 points on the PSQ-18, 25 patients per arm were required with a power of 80% and an α of 0.05. Results: From March to September 2021, 133 patients were screened, 71 were randomized, and 58 were included in the final analysis (30 telehealth and 28 in-person). Demographic characteristics were similar between groups. Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire 18 composite scores were high for both groups but higher for in-person versus telehealth visits (75.68 ± 8.55 vs 66.60 ± 11.80; P = 0.001; difference, 9.08); results were inconclusive with respect to noninferiority. Women in the telehealth group expressed uncertainty regarding the telehealth format. There were no differences in short-term follow-up, communication with the office, or treatment chosen between groups. Conclusions: Women seen by urogynecologic providers for a new consult both via in-person or telehealth visits demonstrated high satisfaction with their first visit. We were unable to determine if telehealth is noninferior to in-person visits. Our study adds to the literature that telehealth is safe, effective, and acceptable to patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalUrogynecology
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Surgery

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