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Patient satisfaction with physician-patient communication during telemedicine. Telemed J E Health 2009 Nov;15(9):830-9 PMID: 19919189

Pubmed ID





The quality of physician-patient communication is a critical factor in treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction with care. To date, few studies have specifically conducted an in-depth evaluation of the effect of telemedicine (TM) on physician-patient communication in a medical setting. Our objective was to determine whether physical separation and technology used during TM have a negative effect on physician-patient communication. In this noninferiority randomized clinical trial, patients were randomized to receive a single consultation with one of 9 physicians, either in person (IP) or via TM. Patients (n = 221) were recruited from pulmonary, endocrine, and rheumatology clinics at a Midwestern Veterans Administration hospital. Physician-patient communication was measured using a validated self-report questionnaire consisting of 33 items measuring satisfaction with visit convenience and physician's patient-centered communication, clinical competence, and interpersonal skills. Satisfaction for physician's patient-centered communication was similar for both consultation types (TM = 3.76 versus IP = 3.61), and noninferiority of TM was confirmed (noninferiority t-test p = 0.002). Patient satisfaction with physician's clinical competence (TM = 4.63 versus IP = 4.52) and physician's interpersonal skills (TM = 4.79 versus IP = 4.74) were similar, and noninferiority of TM was confirmed (noninferiority t-test p = 0.006 and p = 0.04, respectively). Patients reported greater satisfaction with convenience for TM as compared to IP consultations (TM = 4.41 versus IP = 2.37, noninferiority t-test p < 0.001). Patients were equally satisfied with physician's ability to develop rapport, use shared decision making, and promote patient-centered communication during TM and IP consultations. Our data suggest that, despite physical separation, physician-patient communication during TM is not inferior to communication during IP consultations.

Author List

Agha Z, Schapira RM, Laud PW, McNutt G, Roter DL


Purushottam W. Laud PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-70450160139   58 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Hospitals, Veterans
Middle Aged
Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care)
Patient Satisfaction
Physician-Patient Relations
Surveys and Questionnaires
jenkins-FCD Prod-321 98992d628744e349846c2f62ac68f241d7e1ea70