Objectives: To determine patient satisfaction with telemedicine encounters among adults with sickle cell disease and compare their scores with SCD patients who have standard medical encounters (as controls). Methods: Adults patients were recruited from a list of participants in sickle cell telemedicine clinics and prospectively at the time of clinic encounter. Patients were assigned to telemedicine or standard encounter groups. Demographic and pertinent clinical data were obtained for all subjects, and the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8) was administered. Patients were also asked for open-ended comments regarding their satisfaction with the service. Their responses were recorded verbatim. Results: Patients with telemedicine (n = 60) and standard encounters (n = 60) were comparable in gender, genotype, education, employment, and mean number of sickle cell disease-related complications. Patients in the telemedicine group were younger (p < 0.005), more likely to have Medicaid insurance (p = 0.009), and more likely be taking hydroxyurea (p = 0.003) than patients in the control encounter group. Mean CSQ scores for the telemedicine group were high (total: 28.82 ± 3.06), and there was no difference for any item between encounter groups (p = 0.389). Patients in the standard encounter group were more likely to provide positive open-ended comments regarding the encounter (95% vs. 70%; p = 0.001). Negative comments were generally in the area of confidentiality. Conclusions: While some patients expressed concern about confidentiality with telemedicine, the benefits of improved access and continuity of care were recognized, and overall satisfaction with telemedicine was high. These findings support the use of telemedicine as an acceptable health care delivery option for rural, underserved populations with sickle cell disease.
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