Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyLupusTeam
Powered By

The Results Are In: How MyLupusTeam Members Think About Online Doctors’ Visits

Updated on January 04, 2021
Article written by
Heather Lapidus Glassner

MyLupusTeam wanted to understand what members thought about telehealth. Prior to the pandemic, conventional wisdom was that telehealth might provide a backup for quick, convenient care for basic health needs — such as a cold, fever, or prescription refill — but that it played no role in chronic disease management. However, this year MyLupusTeam members have demonstrated how adaptable they are to different ways of being seen by a doctor.

We surveyed 502 members of MyLupusTeam in the United States during summer 2020 about their experiences with and perceptions of telehealth — both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic began.

  • People who have tried telehealth feel comfortable with it and will use it again.
  • More people see telehealth as safe, more convenient, and easier to use than in-person appointments.
  • People are using telehealth for ongoing care and monitoring of existing health concerns.

People Who Have Tried Telehealth Like It

What does it mean that people who have tried it like it? Well, three-quarters of survey respondents who have had a telehealth appointment since the pandemic began said they are comfortable with it. In addition, 61 percent said they are likely to use telehealth in the future (compared to 35 percent of those who never tried it).

People tend to feel skeptical about using telehealth until they have tried it. Once they have, they are more likely to see its advantages. Among the MyLupusTeam survey respondents who have tried telehealth:

  • 70 percent believe it is safer than in-person appointments (compared to 43 percent of respondents who have not yet tried telehealth).
  • 68 percent believe it is more convenient than in-person appointments (compared to 40 percent).
  • 65 percent believe it is easier than in-person appointments (compared to 37 percent).

Those who haven’t tried telehealth generally are not as enthusiastic about it as those who have tried it. However, this group still recognizes some advantages to telehealth. Even without personal experience, they are more likely to consider telehealth safer, better for routine matters, more convenient, and easier than in-person appointments.

In-Person Visits Still Needed for Thorough Exams

Of course, in-person appointments have some clear advantages. MyLupusTeam members believe in-person appointments are better than telehealth appointments for comprehensive exams. The vast majority think in-person appointments provide a more thorough examination. Additionally, many also think that in-person appointments are more personal.

Telehealth Works for Both Primary Care and Specialist Appointments

MyLupusTeam members largely reported using online appointments to see doctors they already knew. Their telehealth appointments were with specialists (50 percent), primary care physicians (18 percent), and both specialists and primary care doctors (33 percent).

Why did respondents schedule these appointments? The top reasons for primary care appointments were ongoing care and monitoring of an existing condition or illness (65 percent) and filling or refilling prescriptions (46 percent). The top reason for specialist appointments was ongoing care and monitoring of an existing condition or illness (84 percent).

Almost three-quarters reported feeling satisfied with the appointments — 74 percent were satisfied with their virtual specialist appointment and 73 percent were satisfied with their virtual primary care appointment.

Not only did MyLupusTeam members try telehealth appointments to see their providers, but they also tried multiple times. Two-thirds of respondents said they had two or more appointments via telehealth. Members took telehealth in stride and integrated these appointments into their daily lives. Three-quarters had appointments over mobile phones.

One member of MyLupusTeam urged another to consider the risk of in-person appointments, writing, “During these times, a telehealth phone call is better than risking exposure with your preexisting condition.”

Telehealth can play an important role in getting necessary health information. One member asked the MyLupusTeam community for help: “I have a telemedicine appointment tomorrow with a rheumatologist and was just wondering if you all have any suggestions on what to ask and discuss. I've heard that lupus is very hard to diagnose, so I want to make sure I make the most of my visit.” Another wrote that she was so happy to hear back from her doctor to receive her lupus diagnosis over a telehealth appointment.

As always, we’re sharing the findings of our research with the MyLupusTeam community. You can see highlights of the survey results in the slides below. Have you tried online doctor visits? How was your telehealth experience? Leave a comment below or start a conversation on MyLupusTeam.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Heather Lapidus Glassner has over two decades of experience in market research. She has conducted social listening and quantitative survey research across a variety of conditions. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

"The idea that we might find in some patients that their disease is being worsened by bacteria in...

Gut Microbes May Help Drive Lupus, Study Finds

"The idea that we might find in some patients that their disease is being worsened by bacteria in...
By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When deciding wh...

Is the U.S. Throwing Away Too Many Donor Kidneys?

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When deciding wh...
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise...

Exercise May Slow Kidney Damage in Lupus Patients

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise...
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter FRIDAY, Sept. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- When pop star S...

Selena Gomez's Kidney Transplant Puts Lupus Center Stage

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter FRIDAY, Sept. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- When pop star S...
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Deaths and complic...

Pregnancy Complications Down for Women With Lupus

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Deaths and complic...
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in patients with the autoimmune illness lupus. Now, res...

Scans Help Spot Heart Trouble Early in People With Lupus

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in patients with the autoimmune illness lupus. Now, res...

Recent articles

Whether you’re unsure about ways to manage your symptoms or you feel nervous about treatment opti...

How To Talk to Your Doctor About Lupus: 4 Tips From an Expert

Whether you’re unsure about ways to manage your symptoms or you feel nervous about treatment opti...
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system mistakenly damages various tissues, in...

Lupus and Kidney Transplants: What You Need To Know

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system mistakenly damages various tissues, in...
Brain fog, medically known as cognitive dysfunction, refers to issues with thinking and memory th...

Brain Fog and Lupus: 5 Tips for Coping

Brain fog, medically known as cognitive dysfunction, refers to issues with thinking and memory th...
Many people with lupus notice that they don’t feel well after drinking alcohol, and these unpleas...

Alcohol and Lupus: What You Need To Know

Many people with lupus notice that they don’t feel well after drinking alcohol, and these unpleas...
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and...

4 Facts To Know About SLE: Symptoms, Treatments, and More

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and...
When you’ve been diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), seeking the best care for you...

8 Tips To Get the Best Lupus Care

When you’ve been diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), seeking the best care for you...
MyLupusTeam My lupus Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close