Session Time: 1:45pm-3:15pm
Location: Les Muses Terrace, Level 3
Objective: Our virtual clinic for People with Parkinson’s disease (PwP) is a service innovation, providing a consultation with a Parkinson’s clinic doctor via telephone, with the aid of wearable technology. We aimed to establish if PwP find telephone consultation follow-up acceptable.
Background: In the UK, NICE recommends regular follow up consultations are offered to PwP. Addressing the need for an efficient and sustainable service, our Movement Disorder team has set up virtual clinic (VC) using the Parkinson’s KinetiGraph (PKG). Patients are reviewed in face-to-face clinic and VC on an alternating 6 monthly basis. For a VC consultation, the patient is called by phone at their appointment time by a clinician to discuss their motor and non-motor symptoms. The clinician also uses the PKG report as an objective assessment of motor symptoms. Medication changes are conveyed to the patients General Practitioner via a letter.
Method: We began a VC pilot project in September 2018. During the VC consultation, patients consented to an anonymous feedback questionnaire being posted to them. These included questions about the experience of VC with an agreement scale and a free text section. They were returned by post in the provided prepaid envelope.
Results: Of 55 questionnaires sent, 30 were returned completed. 90% (n=27) agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with VC and that their concerns were suitability addressed. 77% (n=23) felt they could talk to the doctor as if it were a regular consultation and 63% (n=19) would recommend a VC consultation to other PwP. Positive comments included “very valuable” and “so much easier – no time off work, no bus journey or fight to find a parking place”. Some critical comments were “I have reservations regarding a telephone conversation replacing a hospital appointment since your spouse who is effectively one’s carer has no input” and “if given the choice I would prefer face to face contact – this aids the doctor’s assessment”.
Conclusion: For the majority of PwP, virtual clinics are acceptable and useful. We are reminded that that VCs are a beneficial adjunct but do not serve as a complete replacement for face-to face contact. The comments have been helpful in adapting our service, for example inviting a spouse to join on speaker phone, and having a referral pathway to ensure virtual clinic is offered to those for whom it will be beneficial.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:L. Evans, B. Mohamed, EC. Thomas. “So much easier”; patient’s perceptions of Virtual Clinics for Parkinson’s Disease [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2019; 34 (suppl 2). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/so-much-easier-patients-perceptions-of-virtual-clinics-for-parkinsons-disease/. Accessed September 25, 2023.
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MDS Abstracts - https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/so-much-easier-patients-perceptions-of-virtual-clinics-for-parkinsons-disease/