Background: The COVID-19 pandemic precipitated a rapid shift to conducting secondary care consultations remotely. The aim of this study was to explore patients’ and clinicians’ experiences of remote consultations (RCs), conducted during the first year of the pandemic, in order to identify markers of good practice that could inform future service delivery.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted via telephone or video-call with outpatients (N=12) and clinicians (N=12) of the rheumatology and cardiology departments of a hospital in southwest England in early 2021. Participants had experience of RCs conducted via telephone and were recruited using letters (patients) or emails (clinicians) that described the study aims and invited those interested to contact the research team. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted with transcripts.
Results: The majority of participants were white (patients: 100%; clinicians: 75%); 66% of patients and 42% of clinicians were female; ages ranged from 35 to over 75 years. Interviewees identified a range of benefits and difficulties with RCs; there was agreement across patients and clinicians that for routine check-ups, where a patient’s condition is stable, RCs can be appropriate. However, a key theme from the interviews concerned the psychosocial elements of RCs and the findings suggest that it is harder in RCs to give or gather a holistic view of the patient, which can be detrimental to patient and clinician satisfaction.
Conclusions and implications: As secondary care providers are encouraged to permanently integrate RCs in their practice, findings from this study highlight the importance of ensuring, for each patient, that remote care is appropriate. The findings of this small study align with those of larger survey studies and build on these to provide deeper insight of people’s experiences of RCs. Further support may be needed to help both clinicians and patients to gather and provide all information necessary during RCs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022
EventUKSBM AGM 2022 -
Duration: 30 Mar 202231 Mar 2022


ConferenceUKSBM AGM 2022


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