May 06, 2016
1 min read

Length of illness affects acceptance of telemedicine in patients with diabetes

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SEATTLE – Patients who had diabetes for a longer period of time, those with multiple comorbidities and those with good access to care were found to be less willing to participate in telemedicine, according to a study presented here at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Ninety-seven patients with diabetes completed a survey that sought to determine whether participants would be willing to be examined via telemedicine, if they believed it would be more convenient than a separate eye appointment and if they would miss interacting with their doctor.

Sean O. Hansen , MD, Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,

told Primary Care Optometry News that demographics did not seem to influence subjects’ decisions about participating in telemedicine.

“More so, it was the value of the patient-doctor relationship that made it less likely to be involved in telemedicine,” he said.

The study results showed that each additional year of having diabetes decreased the patient’s willingness to accept telemedicine by 5%. In addition, each additional ocular comorbidity decreased the odds of perceiving telemedicine to be more convenient by 68%. Each marker of good general access to care decreased the odds by 20%.

“This information can help telemedicine services be tailored to patients more likely to use them,” Hansen said.

Such patients would include those without established doctor-patient relationships, those who seldom seek health care or those with poor access, according to the study. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO


Hansen S, et al. Attitudes toward telemedicine in ophthalmology.

Disclosure: Hansen reports no relevant financial disclosures.