The Experience of Palliative Care Patients Who Underwent Telemedicine in the State of Qatar during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author(s): Azza Hassan, Ayman Allam, Saad Jobran Eziada, Hiba Elathir, Azar Saleeml, Sair Ibrahim, Zeinab Idris, Shaikhah Mohsen

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic is the major global health catastrophe and an extreme challenge since World War II. The aim of the study is to analyze the patient’s satisfaction regarding the telemedicine experience in comparison to the face to face clinics even after the pandemic times with respect to the palliative care services.

Methods: We surveyed 104 participants who attended the palliative telephone clinic and explored their experience and the efficacy of telemedicine compared to the face to face physician encounters. The survey was conducted by the palliative care physicians and the clinical nurse specialists.

a In the survey 69 (67%) patients said telephone clinic was convenient and effective. 95 (91%) patients answered time allotted for the clinic was sufficient. 96 (92%) of patients were satisfied with the phone clinics. When given the options in telephone clinic, 77 (74%) patients opted for phone clinics. 97 (93%) patients received the medications on time. 63 (61%) wanted to have a mix of both face to face and phone clinics even after the pandemic. 86 (83%) of the participants said they would recommend the telemedicine to the concerned health authorities. The open-ended question had most of the responses (above 80%) to be positive feeling regarding the telemedicine consultation and the palliative care services.

Conclusion: Most of our patients are satisfied and prefer a mix of face to face and phone clinics even after COVID 19 pandemic. Future of medicine should consider a significant space for the telemedicine across all specialties.

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