|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 7 | Page : 1494-1495
A pilot study on the perspectives of pediatric ophthalmologists and their patients towards online consultation during COVID-19 lockdown in India
Mihir Kothari1, Vivek Rathod2, Susha Sugathan2, Megha M Kothari2
1 Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Jyotirmay Eye Clinic and Ocular Motility Laboratory, Thane; Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Mahatme Eye Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Jyotirmay Eye Clinic and Ocular Motility Laboratory, Thane, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Web Publication||25-Jun-2020|
Dr. Mihir Kothari
Jyotirmay Eye Clinic, 104/105 Kaalika Tower, Opp. Pratap Cinema, Kolbad Road, Thane West - 400 601, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Kothari M, Rathod V, Sugathan S, Kothari MM. A pilot study on the perspectives of pediatric ophthalmologists and their patients towards online consultation during COVID-19 lockdown in India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:1494-5
|How to cite this URL:|
Kothari M, Rathod V, Sugathan S, Kothari MM. A pilot study on the perspectives of pediatric ophthalmologists and their patients towards online consultation during COVID-19 lockdown in India. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 14];68:1494-5. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2020/68/7/1494/287478
Tele-ophthalmology for individualized patient care was un-common until recent national lock-down when regulatory and practice guidelines were made available., We present the perspectives of the pediatric ophthalmologists (PO) and their patients towards tele-ophthalmology, captured in the initial 6 weeks of this new era of legalized Telehealth.
A 15-item questionnaire for PO was administered through google forms and an eleven item questionnaire for patients was administered via a telephonic-call [Table 1]. All the patients were treated by chief author. Teleconsultations and online payments were legally compliant.
|Table 1: Questionnaires used for the assessment of the perspectives of the pediatric ophthalmologists and their patients towards individualised patient care using tele-ophthalmology|
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Survey of PO: Out of 60, 26 replied. 16 were females. Mean age was 37.1 years and 50% were in private-practice. The average experience of the respondents was 6.5 years. Eleven had started teleconsultations and 16 were aware of the regulations. Only 7 knew how to set up teleophthalmology practice. Twenty five favored the teleconsultation for non-vision threatening eye problems [Table 2]. An econsultation was preferred over video-consultation. Online-chat and telephones were not favored. The recommended fees for online consultations was 440.00 ₹. The major concerns were lack of comprehensiveness, treatment compliance, overuse and medicolegal. Twenty-five respondents wanted to practice tele-ophthalmology.
|Table 2: Recommended indications for teleconsultations in pediatric ophthalmology|
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Survey of patients: Out of 36, twenty replied. Twelve had video-consultations and 8 had econsultation/s. Nine patients had consulted for the first time. Mean age was 10.5 years. Mean satisfaction score was 92%. Seven desired to avail tele-consultation even after lockdown. All the patients felt helped and rated the reliability of diagnosis 88%. Eighteen recommended teleconsultation for eye emergencies during the lockdown [Table 2]. No patient was aware of government regulations. Recommended fees was 400.00₹.
The Cronbach alpha of the questionnaire for PO was 0.4, and that of the patients was 0.8. This pilot study demonstrated the need of tele-ophthalmology in pediatric eye care. Further studies with larger sample are needed.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
[Table 1], [Table 2]