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Survey Results: What MyParkinsonsTeam Members Say About Online Doctors’ Visits

Posted on November 30, 2020
Article written by
Heather Lapidus Glassner

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been rethinking going in for a traditional doctor’s appointment. Instead, different options have become much more common. While telehealth services were around prior to the start of the pandemic, online doctors’ visits have now become part of the accepted norm for seeing a doctor.

We recently surveyed 471 members of MyParkinsonsTeam (387 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and 84 caregivers for someone diagnosed) about their experiences with and perceptions of telehealth — both before and after March 2020.

  • People who have tried telehealth mostly feel comfortable with it.
  • More people see telehealth as good for routine matters, safe, more convenient, and easier to use than in-person appointments. This holds true for both those who have tried telehealth visits before and those who have not.
  • Most survey respondents’ telehealth appointments were with doctors they had seen before.

Giving Telehealth Appointments a Chance

Given the circumstances of the pandemic, many MyParkinsonsTeam members have tried telehealth. That isn’t surprising. What is surprising is how much better they now regard virtual appointments after trying them. In other words, if they gave it a chance, they were pleased with their online health care. In fact, 68 percent of survey respondents said they were comfortable with their telehealth experience. In addition, 53 percent said they are likely to use telehealth in the future (compared to just 26 percent of respondents who have not tried telehealth before).

Telehealth Appointments Offer Convenience

MyParkinsonsTeam members who took the survey really liked all aspects of online health care relating to convenience. For example, among those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease who tried telehealth between March and July 2020:

  • 64 percent believe it is more convenient than in-person appointments (compared to 49 percent of respondents who have not yet tried telehealth).
  • 57 percent believe it is easier than in-person appointments (compared to 40 percent).
  • 57 percent believe it is safer than in-person appointments (compared to 41 percent).

Regardless of whether they have tried telehealth, MyParkinsonsTeam survey respondents were as likely to say telehealth is better for routine matters (55 percent for those who have tried it and 58 percent for those who have not).

Telehealth Is Currently Used With Previously Seen Doctors

While this may evolve in the future, almost all MyParkinsonsTeam members who met with doctors online said the visits were with doctors they already knew from earlier appointments. About 80 percent had an appointment with a primary care doctor they had seen before, and 88 percent had an appointment with a specialist they had seen before.

One MyParkinsonsTeam member who liked her experience with a virtual doctor’s appointment said, “I had a telemedicine appointment with my neurologist this morning, so convenient.” Another agreed, responding, “Especially with times being what they are, it is way more convenient than having to drive to an appointment.”

Another member was very satisfied with her online experience with a Parkinson’s disease specialist. She wrote that she saw the specialist “over the telemedicine program, and I can tell you I received as thorough an exam there as I did in person.”

You can read the full results of the survey in the slides below. We believe it is important to share research results with the MyParkinsonsTeam community.

Have you tried online appointments for your Parkinson’s care? Do you have any questions about the telehealth process? Add your comments below or on MyParkinsonsTeam.

Heather Lapidus Glassner has over two decades of experience in market research. She has conducted social listening and quantitative survey research across a variety of conditions. Learn more about her here.

A MyParkinsonsTeam Member said:

I know exactly what you mean, but they can do only so much. They don't have a magical cure.

posted about 2 months ago

hug

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