The COVID‐19 pandemic has led to rapid changes in the delivery of medical care worldwide. The main objective of this survey was to investigate the initial experiences of neurologists with the use of telemedicine for different neurological conditions during the first phase of the COVID‐19.
All hospital‐based neurologists in Norway (n = 400) were invited to a questionnaire survey by e‐mail in April 2020. The study focused on telemedicine and all questions were answered with regard to the first weeks of the pandemic lockdown in Norway.
One‐hundred and thirty‐five neurologists responded. Overall, 87% reported a shift toward more telemedicine, with significantly more use of telephone than video consultations for both new referrals (54% vs. 30%, P < 0.001) and follow‐ups (99% vs. 50%, P < 0.001). Respondents deemed it much more professionally satisfactory to conduct follow‐up consultations by telephone, than to carry out consultations with new patients by telephone (85% vs. 13%, P < 0.001). Teleconsultations were better suited for headache and epilepsy patients as compared to multiple sclerosis and movement disorder patients. There was no significant difference between residents and senior consultants regarding how they experienced teleconsultations. Female neurologists found telemedicine better and more effective than male neurologists.
Telemedicine was rapidly implemented in Norwegian neurological departments during the first weeks of the COVID‐19 pandemic. Teleconsultations were better suited for follow‐ups than for new referrals, and better for headache and epilepsy patients as compared to multiple sclerosis and movement disorder patients.
This item's license is: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International