Telemedicine for patients undergoing arthroplasty: Access, ability, and preference

S. Freiman, M. T. Schwabe, R. L. Barrack, R. M. Nunley, J. C. Clohisy, C. M. Lawrie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Aims The purpose of this study was to determine the access to and ability to use telemedicine technology in adult patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (ThA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA), and to determine associations with the socioeconomic characteristics of the patients, including age, sex, race, and education. We also sought to understand the patients’ perceived benefits, risks, and preferences when dealing with telemedicine. Methods We performed a cross-sectional survey involving patients awaiting primary ThA and TKA by one of six surgeons at a single academic institution. patients were included and called for a telephone-administered survey if their surgery was scheduled to be between 23 March and 2 June 2020, and were aged > 18 years. Results The response rate was 52% (189 of 363 patients). A total of 170 patients (90.4%) reported using the internet, 177 (94.1%) reported owning a device capable of videoconferencing, and 143 (76.1%) had participated in a video call in the past year. When asked for their preferred method for a consultation, 155 (82.8%) and 26 (13.9%) ranked in-person and a videoconference as their first choice, respectively. The perceived benefits of telemedicine consultations included reduced travel to appointments (165 (88.2%) agreed) and reduced cost of attending appointments (123 (65.8%) agreed). however, patients were concerned that they would not establish the same patient-physician connection (100 (53.8%) agreed), and would not receive the same level of care (52 (33.2%) agreed) using telemedicine consultations compared with in-person consultations. conclusion Most patients undergoing arthroplasty have access to and are capable of using the technology required for telemedicine consultations. however, they still prefer in-person consultations due to concerns that they will not establish the same patient-physician connection and will not receive the same level of care, despite the benefits of reducing the time spent in travelling and the cost of attending appointments, and the appointments being easier to attend.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


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