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Epilepsia. 2005 May;46(5):767-70.

A comparison of epilepsy patients in a traditional ambulatory clinic and a telemedicine clinic.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, 77555, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This article compares a traditional ambulatory clinic in an academic medical center with a telemedicine clinic. The telemedicine clinic is a joint project of the UTMB Telehealth Center and the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Texas, with partial funding for clinical operations provided by the Texas Department of Health.

METHODS:

Data were collected on all the patients (n = 155) in both clinics for 3 months in 2004. In addition to demographic information, outcome data (number of seizures, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits) were gathered. Medication compliance also was collected by using self-report and medication levels.

RESULTS:

Outcome variables were subjected to t test and chi(2) analysis. No significant differences were found in any of the demographic data or outcome measures between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Telemedicine is an acceptable alternative to in-person clinics for the provision of care to adults with epilepsy. Because telemedicine programs are designed to bring medical care closer to where patients live, these clinics provide an excellent alternative to provide consistent care in rural and geographically isolated areas. Additional studies are needed to investigate the potential costs associated with telemedicine as well as the potential for cost savings over time as patients are more able to access care and therefore may be more likely to seek the needed routine care and follow-up.

PMID:
15857445
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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