Presentation of the results of a qualitative study on the use of telemedicine among patients with chronic diseases


In April, the research team of the Center for Social Informatics (project leader: assistant professor Dr Andraž Petrovčič, other collaborating researchers: Dr Vesna Dolničar, Dr Simona Hvalič-Touzery and Dr Katja Prevodnik, and Jerneja Laznik) presented the final report of the results of a qualitative study on the use of telemedicine among patients with chronic diseases (type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension). The research was conducted in July 2020 as part of the project Understanding and analysis of users’ needs for the development of e-services for integrated social and health care in the aging society (ARRS: L5-9337). User experience with telemedicine were studied at the level of a general practice (family medicine) clinic, among patients with type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension who tested telemedicine over an extended period of time as part of the intervention study (telemedicine equipment was provided by Telekom Slovenije, d.d., and University Medical Center Ljubljana was also involved in the project).

Four focus groups were conducted with patients, who primarily emphasized the positive outcomes of using telemedicine, which can improve their quality of life. According to previous research, the consequences of involvement in this type of medical treatment are reflected in psychological empowerment, in addition to changes in health status. The most useful and frequently exposed features of telemedicine are access to remote medical care and the possibility of remote data transmission. The latter allows patients to avoid waiting times for medical examinations, less frequent visits to the doctor, and the elimination of the »white coat syndrome«. At the time of theCOVID-19 pandemic, which required a reduction in physical visits by patients to clinics, this aspect of telemedicine seems to have made the benefits of such treatment even more apparent. It is not only a matter of reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection, but also of maintaining regular monitoring of such patients who would otherwise be treated less frequently.

The study was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency under Grants L5-9337 (Understanding and analysis of users' needs for the development of e-services for integrated social and health care in the aging society) and P5-0399 (Internet Research programme).

Back to list of notificationsPublished: 18. May 2021 | Category: News