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J Telemed Telecare. 2005;11 Suppl 2:S22-5.

Attitude to telemedicine, and willingness to use it, in audiology patients.

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  • 1School of Surgery and Pathology, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.


We studied the willingness of patients to use telemedicine for ear- and hearing-related appointments, and the factors that influenced their decision to participate in telemedicine. A survey was designed with questions about patient appointments, perceived advantages and barriers to telemedicine, and prior use of the Internet for health-related matters. A total of 116 patients in four audiology centres were surveyed from December 2004 to May 2005. There were 54 male and 62 female respondents; 46% of the participants were aged over 66 years. In all, 75% had not previously heard of telemedicine. The most common reasons for willingness to use telemedicine were to reduce the time waiting for an appointment and cost. The most common barrier to using telemedicine was a preference for face-to-face visits. Of those surveyed, 32% were willing to use telemedicine, 10% would sometimes be willing, 28% were unsure, and 30% were not willing. There was no relationship between willingness and age or gender, except that women over the age of 55 years were less willing. Patients who had previously heard of telemedicine and used the Internet for health-related matters, especially men, were more inclined to have a telemedicine appointment.

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