Feda Saad Hammad AlkhowaiterQassim University, KSA
Title: Evaluating diabetic patient’s perceptions and attitudes toward telemedicine visits during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 demands more awareness of telemedicine among the Saudi community. Few studies address the perception of diabetic patients about telemedicine in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed to examine the attitude and perception of diabetic patients regarding telemedicine and to address the factors affecting satisfaction.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among diabetic patients in Saudi Arabia from March to June 2022. A structured self-prepared questionnaire was developed by google forms and distrusted through social media platforms. All statistical calculations were performed using: Statistical package for the social sciences version 26.
Results: One hundred diabetic patients completed the questionnaire. About 55% were females. The majority (94.8%) were Saudi, aged more than 40 years (77.6%), married (82%), unemployed (62%), hold a bachelor’s degree (51%), and 45% had diabetes more than 5 years. About 56% experienced only audio calls, 30% experienced video calls, and 14% experienced both. Most participants (93%) were not confused during telehealth consultation, 78.8% were satisfied with the experience in general, 83% would recommend it to others, and 49% see that telehealth can be the primary mean of counselling shortly. More than half of the participants (62%) mentioned that they prefer to see a physician in person. Patients younger than 40 reported a significantly higher satisfaction rate with telehealth (95.5%) than older patients (73.3%), p = 0.037.
Conclusion: Diabetic patients were generally satisfied with telehealth consultations. Further studies are needed to examine how to enhance patients’ experiences and explore their preferences.
Feda Saad Alkhowaiter is the internal medicine specialist in MGH, Saudi Board Certified of Internal Medicine