Telehealth is used in medical oncology to increase rural access to care and clinical trials, improve hospice communication, and has recently experienced a rapid expansion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its uses, quantitative research demonstrates conflicting reports of patient satisfaction and no qualitative studies exist examining the patient acceptability of telehealth for cancer care. This study aims to investigate the patient perceptions and factors influencing telehealth acceptability for oncologic care. To accomplish this, a semi-structured interview guide was utilized to interview 20 patients who participated in a video visit with a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital medical oncology provider between October 31, 2019 and March 30, 2020. A codebook was developed using directed content analysis and applied to the interviews by one coder. Codes were organized into themes to create a conceptual model of the factors that influence patient acceptance of video visits. For the preliminary analysis, two thematic categories were identified: (1) factors influencing the initial acceptance of a video visit and (2) the acceptability of video visit use for the delivery of serious or bad news. Participants identified convenience, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the visit type as influencing the acceptability of their initial telehealth encounter. Participants were divided in the acceptability of telehealth use for the delivery of serious or bad news, with factors considered including in-person comfort and the privacy of telehealth. This study identifies factors influencing the acceptability of telehealth for cancer care, which is a critical element of telehealth’s success in increasing access to care.
Granberg, MD/MPH(c), Rachel; Heyer, MD/MPH(c), Arianna; Binder, MD, Adam; Handley, MD, MPH, Nathan; Gentsch, MSW, Alexzandra; Rising, MD, MSHP, Kristin; and Frasso, PhD, CPH, Rosemary, "Telehealth Use in Oncology: Patient Perspectives on Video Visits" (2020). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 329.