Four in 10 Adults Choose Telemedicine Visits
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Four in 10 Adults Choose Telemedicine Visits

Video visits less likely among older patients and those without internet access

FRIDAY, March 22, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients, including those with the greatest care needs, choose telemedicine even when in-person visits are available, according to a study published online March 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Eva Chang, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Advocate Health in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and colleagues assessed patient characteristics associated with telemedicine use and telemedicine mode. The analysis included data from 5,437 U.S. adults with health care visits in 2022 participating in the Health Information National Trends Survey.

The researchers discovered that 43 percent of patients had a telemedicine appointment, with 70 percent choosing a video consultation and 30 percent opting for an audio-only visit. Telemedicine visits were less frequent among older patients (75 years and older), those who did not have internet access, and people living in the Midwest. Telemedicine visits were positively associated with female sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.43), chronic conditions (aOR, 2.13), and multiple health care visits (two to four visits: aOR, 1.77; at least five visits: aOR, 3.29). Audio-only visits were associated with older age (65 to 74 years: aOR, 2.13; 75 years and older: aOR, 3.58), no health insurance (aOR, 2.84), and no internet use (aOR, 2.11). There were no significant differences observed in telemedicine use or mode by education, race and ethnicity, or income.

"These findings suggest that while many patients chose to use telemedicine when in-person visits are available, telemedicine access, particularly video visits, was less likely among key populations who experience barriers to accessing care," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to SAGE Therapeutics and the Lundbeck Foundation.

Abstract/Full Text

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