Can paediatric and adolescent gynecological care be delivered via Telehealth
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Health Information Technology | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health
OBJECTIVE: Paediatric and adolescent gynecology (PAG) is an evolving subspecialty, with patients often having to travel large distances to access care. The goal of the present study was to assess whether Telehealth (TH) would be appropriate for PAG services in a tertiary care centre and to determine patient/family interest.
METHODS: The present study was a prospective observational study of patients who attended PAG clinics over the course of one year. Patient data collected on each visit included postal code, diagnosis, availability of a local hospital with TH, patient appropriateness for TH and patient/family reasons for accepting TH. Visits were stratified by diagnosis to determine if certain conditions were more amenable to TH.
RESULTS: From the total visits through the year (July 15, 2008 to July 15, 2009), 1541 (79.6%) patients were approached for participation; 8 (0.5%) declined. The final sample size was 1533 patient visits. Four hundred sixty-nine visits (30.6%) were potentially appropriate for TH based on geography. According to clinic physicians, only 51 of these 469 visits (10.9%) were appropriate for TH. The main reasons for being inappropriate were the need for physical examination (n=238, 57.0%), imaging (n=57, 13.6%), or issues regarding sexuality/privacy (n=45, 10.8%). Of the 51 appropriate visits, 28 patients/families (55.0%) expressed interest in TH. Of those not interested in TH, the main reasons included the desire for a face-to-face encounter and the need to coordinate with other health care appointments.
CONCLUSION: Of the patient visits considered for TH (based on the fact that patients lived a considerable distance from the hospital), 10.9% were deemed appropriate for TH by the PAG team, but 45.0% of families/patients in this group said they would prefer a traditional clinic visit. Currently, TH appears to be appropriate for only a small subset of patients/families.
Adolescent gynecology, Paediatric gynecology, Telehealth, Telemedicine
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Citation: Paediatr Child Health. 2012 Feb;17(2):e12-5.
Paediatrics and child health
Barlow, Erin; Aggarwal, Anjali; Johnstone, Joley; Allen, Lisa; Kives, Sari; Ornstein, Melanie; Spitzer, Rachel F.; and Caccia, Nicolette, "Can paediatric and adolescent gynecological care be delivered via Telehealth" (2012). Obstetrics and Gynecology Publications and Presentations. 120.