Survey: Patients willing to use telehealth, but prefer onsite care

Respondent for a survey published in Open JAMA Network are interested in using video telemedicine visits in the future, but most prefer in-person healthcare.

“This survey study shows that participants are generally more willing to use video views but prefer in-person care, and that those who prefer to watch videos are more sensitive to out-of-pocket payments,” the researchers write.


The survey found that 66.5% of participants wanted at least some video views in the future, but when they had a choice between live and video views when out-of-pocket costs were not an issue. factor, 53% prefer to visit people.

Meanwhile, 20.9% of respondents like watching videos and 26.2% don’t like or don’t know.

Video exposure telehealth video visits affect participants’ views. The survey found that 45% of participants reported having at least one video visit with providers since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Of those, 44.2% prefer to meet in person and 31.4% prefer to use video.

But for those who have no experience with video views, 60.2% prefer to watch live and only 12.2% like video.

The survey also aimed to gauge how interested participants were when costs differed between the two modalities. When video-like participants were asked about a $30 video view versus a $10 direct visit, 18.9% still wanted to use the video, 61.7% switched to direct access, and 19 .1% have no interest or do not know.

When those who initially preferred face-to-face were asked about a scenario where cost was a factor, 49.8% still preferred in-person meetings and 23.5% switched.

But when asked to rate their interest in using telehealth video on a five-point scale, 61.4% of participants said they were very willing or willing and only 8.5% did not. Of those who have made a video visit since March 2020, only 2.3% do not want to use telehealth in the future.

Young patients aged 20 to 39 were the most likely to enjoy watching videos (25.9%) and those over 60 the least (12.6%). Research also shows that people with college degrees are more likely to watch videos than people without their degrees.


Researchers conducted a survey of more than 2,000 adults aged 20 and older between March 8 and 19, 2021.

Respondents were asked whether they would prefer face-to-face care or watching a video for a non-urgent issue where cost is not a factor. They were then asked to choose between their preferred option that costs $30 or another for just $10.

The survey also asked participants what demographic they belonged to, their experience with video views, their willingness to use video views, and their preference for telehealth. after the pandemic.


While telehealth and virtual care were available before the pandemic, usage has skyrocketed as COVID-19 pushes patients and providers to access care remotely when they can.

As more people return to firsthand experience, growth curve for telehealth has stabilized, but some studies show that consumers are Still interested in virtual care. Stakeholders are discussing safety and quality concerns as payment problem.


The researchers noted several limitations with their study. They were not able to perform a complete analysis of how much participants were willing to pay for each method. Respondents may not be familiar with choosing between telehealth and onsite care.

Demographic data is also limited. For example, they don’t have access to health or chronic condition data, which could affect how respondents view in-person versus telehealth.

They write: “This survey study shows that adults are willing to use video views but prefer face-to-face care over video visits for non-urgent health problems.

“Previous telehealth use has been associated with video preferences, and those who prefer to watch videos are more sensitive to out-of-pocket costs. Awareness of patient preferences will help define telehealth’s role in post-pandemic healthcare delivery. “

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