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Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.reumae.2020.10.002
Available online 2 June 2021
Tele-Rheumatology during the COVID-19 pandemic
Telerreumatología en tiempos de crisis durante la pandemia por COVID-19
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Jesús Tornero-Molinaa,b,
Corresponding author
jtorneromolina@ser.es

Corresponding author.
, Fernando Sánchez-Alonsoc, Manuel Fernández-Pradaa, María-Luisa Bris-Ochaitaa, Alberto Sifuentes-Giraldoa, Javier Vidal-Fuentesa
a Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Universitario General de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Spain
b Departamento de Medicina y Especialidades Médicas, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
c Unidad de Investigación de la Sociedad Española de Reumatología, Madrid, Spain
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Tables (6)
Table 1. Sociodemograpic and geo-functional characteristics.
Table 2. Care and clinical characteristics.
Table 3. Relationship between sociodemographic variables and level of patient and doctor satisfaction with the rheumatology teleconsultation.
Table 4. Usefulness of rheumatology teleconsultation for the patient: relationship with sociodemographic and clinical variables.
Table 5. Relationship between level of satisfaction (patient and doctor) very favourable (≥8) or not (<8) and demographic and clinical variables.
Table 6. Logistic regression multivariate analysis. Measurement of effect in doctor and patient evaluation: main parameters which conditioned a profile of high satisfaction (equal to or above 8 in VNE 0-100).
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Abstract
Introduction

During the Covid-19 pandemic strategies to prevent transmission of the viral infection obliged our hospital to promote virtual consultations.

Objetive

The objective of this study is to describe the results obtained with the previous strategy of transferring activity to teleconsultation during the period of maximum impact of the pandemic.

Material and methods

Between 16/03 and 10/05/2020 all successive consultations in our unit were performed in virtual rheumatology teleconference (RTC) format. The socio-demographic, geo-functional and clinical characteristics of all patients were collected; a numeric verbal scale (NVS) (where 0 = very dissatisfied to 10 = fully satisfied) was applied to assess the degree of satisfaction of the doctor/patient with the RTC.

Results

469 TC were included. Most patients seen by RTC were women, mean age: 60,83 years. Only 16% had university education. The mean distance travelled for face-to face consultation is 33 Km with a mean total time of 2 h. Most individuals were diagnosed with osteoarthritis/soft tissue rheumatic diseases and/or osteoporosis; 21% had rheumatoid arthritis. The mean length of the TC was 9.64 min. We find more patient satisfaction with the TC when their level of education is higher (OR = 4.12); doctor satisfaction was higher when the individual was better able to manage the Internet (OR = 3.01).

Conclusion

It is possible to transfer rheumatological care activity to TC with a considerable degree of satisfaction for both the patient and the doctor.

Keywords:
Telemedicine
Rheumatology teleconference
Rheumatic disease
COVID-19
Resumen
Introducción

Durante la pandemia por Covid 19 las necesidades de prevención de transmisión de la infección viral nos obligaron a potenciar las consultas virtuales.

Objetivo

El objetivo de estudio es describir los resultados obtenidos con la anterior estrategia y definir el perfil de paciente más idóneo para aplicarla.

Material y métodos

Durante el período comprendido entre el 16/3 y el 10/05/2020 todas las consultas sucesivas de nuestro servicio fueron realizadas en formato de teleconsulta reumatológica (TCR). Se recogieron las características sociodemográficas, geofuncionales y clínicas de los pacientes; se evalúo mediante escala numérica verbal (ENV) (0–10, donde 0 = muy insatisfecho hasta 10 = completamente satisfecho) el grado de satisfacción del paciente/médico con la TC.

Resultados

La mayoría de los pacientes atendidos en las 469 TCR realizadas fueron mujeres, con una edad media de 60,83 años. Sólo el 16% habían realizado estudios universitarios. La distancia media recorrida para acudir a una consulta presencial era de 33 km, con una inversión de tiempo total promedio de 2 horas. La mayoría de los sujetos estaban diagnosticados de artrosis/reumatismos de partes blandas y/o osteoporosis; el 21% eran portadores de artritis reumatoide. La duración media de la TCR fue de 9,64 min. Encontramos una mayor satisfacción con la TCR por parte del paciente, cuando el nivel de estudios era más alto (OR = 4,33), y por parte del médico cuando el individuo manejaba mejor internet (OR = 3,22).

Conclusión

Es posible transferir actividad asistencial reumatológica hacia la TCR con un grado importante de satisfacción para el paciente y el médico.

Palabras clave:
Telemedicina
Teleconsulta reumatológica
Enfermedad reumática
COVID-19

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