Objective: To assess perceptions and preferences regarding telemedicine among patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted an online survey among patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Attitudes about telemedicine (i.e., telemedicine acceptability) evaluated using the validated telemedicine perception questionnaire (TMPQ) and visit satisfaction were assessed for different telemedicine experiences and types of autoimmune rheumatic disease. Results: Of 3,369 invitations, 819 responses were received. Participants had a mean age of 58.6 (11.6) years and were mostly white (n= 759, 92.7%) and female (n=702, 85.7%). Of 618 participants who said that telemedicine was available to them, 449 (72.7%) reported having a telemedicine visit, with 303 (67.5%) reporting a telemedicine video visit. On a 0-10 scale, the mean (standard deviation) visit satisfaction score was 7.3 (1.8) with 25.8% being very satisfied (score 9 or 10). Video visits and higher TMPQ score were associated with higher satisfaction. Compared to those who did not have a telemedicine visit, patients who had experienced telemedicine were more likely to prefer telemedicine for routine visits (73.7% vs 44.3%, p<0.001), reviewing test results (64.8% vs 53.8%, p<0.001), when considering changing medications (40.5 vs. 26,8; p<0.001), and when starting a new injectable medication (18.9% vs. 12.7%; p=0.02). Conclusion: During the pandemic, patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases frequently had telemedicine visits, the majority via video, and were satisfied with these visits. These results suggest that because patients prefer telemedicine for certain visit reasons, maximizing effective use of telemedicine will require personalized patient scheduling.

Fuente: Arthritis Care & Research