Surgeon, patient, and caregiver perspective of pediatric surgical telemedicine in the COVID-19 pandemic era

Jose Diaz-Miron*, Sarah Ogle, Alex Kaizer, Shannon N. Acker, Kyle O. Rove, Thomas H. Inge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Adoption of telemedicine (TME) in surgical specialties, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, has previously been slow. The purpose of this prospective, observational, single institution study is to evaluate surgeon and caregiver perspectives of TMEs during the pandemic. Methods: Surveys were distributed to surgical faculty regarding perceptions of TME early during the pandemic and 2 months later. Caregivers (or patients > 18 years old) were asked after each TME to complete a survey regarding perceptions of TMEs. Results: Surveys were distributed to 73 surgeons. Response rates were 71% initially and 63% at follow-up. Sixty-eight percent reported no prior TME experience. No significant differences were noted in the overall satisfaction. An inverse relationship between surgeon age and satisfaction at the follow-up survey was identified (p = 0.007). Additional surveys were distributed to 616 caregivers or patients (response rate 13%). Seventy-two percent reported no prior experience with TME and 79% described TME as similar to an in-person visit. Audiovisual satisfaction of the TME was higher in greater income households (p = 0.02). Conclusions: Pre-pandemic experience with TME was low in both groups; however, experiences were perceived as satisfactory. Positive experiences with TME may encourage increased utilization in the future, although demographic variations may impact satisfaction with TME. Trial registration: Unique identifier NCT04376710 at (5/6/2020).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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