Background. Remote video consultations on musculoskeletal illness are relatively convenient and accessible, and use fewer resources. However, there are concerns about technological and privacy issues, the possibility of missing something important, and equal access to all patients. We measured patient characteristics associated with willingness to conduct a remote video musculoskeletal upper extremity consultation.
Methods. One hundred and five patients seeking specialty musculoskeletal care completed questionnaires addressing (1) demographics, (2) access to a device, internet, and space to conduct a remote video consultation, (3) health literacy, (4) pain intensity, (5) magnitude of limitations of the upper extremity, (6) self-efficacy, and (7) rated willingness to conduct a remote video musculoskeletal consultation (11-point ordinal scale). A multivariable linear regression analysis sought factors independently associated with patient willingness to conduct remote video musculoskeletal upper extremity consultations.
Results. Patient education level (4 years of college) and accessibility to a space suitable for remote video consultations were independently associated with interest in remote video consultations. Sociodemographic factors, health literacy, accessibility to a device or internet, and amount of perceived pain and disability were not.
Discussion. We speculate that education level and suitable space might be surrogates for trust and privacy concerns. Future research might measure the ability of interventions to gain trust and ensure privacy to increase willingness to engage in remote video musculoskeletal consultations.
Key words: remote consultations, virtual visits, orthopedic surgery, musculoskeletal illness
Level of evidence: level II prognostic study