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ISRN Neurology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 135329, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/135329
Research Article

Sleep Telemedicine: A Survey Study of Patient Preferences

Neurology Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Wang 720, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Received 1 May 2012; Accepted 26 May 2012

Academic Editors: A. Arboix and T. Mezaki

Copyright © 2012 Jessica M. Kelly et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Telemedicine is an increasingly recognized option for cost-effective management of chronic conditions. We surveyed Sleep Clinic patients about their experiences and preferences regarding different forms of telemedicine. Adult Sleep Clinic patients seen between 2009 and 2011 received a brief survey either by postal mail ( 𝑛 = 1 5 6 ) or, for those with an available email address, electronically ( 𝑛 = 2 8 2 ). The overall response rate was 28.1% ( 𝑛 = 1 2 3 responses), with email response rates being higher than postal mail responses. The most commonly reported barriers to in-person physician visits were parking cost (44%), time away from work/school (34%), and cost of gas (26%). Whereas 89% of respondents indicated using telephone and 55% of respondents indicated using email to communicate with providers, none reported experience with video telemedicine. Despite this lack of experience, over 60% reported feeling comfortable or willing to try it. Of those who were uncomfortable about video telemedicine, the two main reasons were that in-person visits feel more natural (48%) and that the doctor might need to perform an examination (24%). More than half of respondents reported willingness to pay a copay for a video visit. Video telemedicine represents a feasible option for chronic sleep disorders management.