Telemedicine in monitoring pediatric LT patients before and during COVID-19 pandemic

Musaoglu, Mirac, Yuksel, Muhammed, Mizikoglu, Ozlem and Arikan, Cigdem 2022. Telemedicine in monitoring pediatric LT patients before and during COVID-19 pandemic. Pediatric Transplantation. 26 (1) e14138. https://doi.org/10.1111/petr.14138

TitleTelemedicine in monitoring pediatric LT patients before and during COVID-19 pandemic
TypeJournal article
AuthorsMusaoglu, Mirac, Yuksel, Muhammed, Mizikoglu, Ozlem and Arikan, Cigdem
Abstract

Background
The delivery of healthcare services by telemedicine decreases costs of traveling for patients, is less time-consuming, and most importantly permits the connection between highly skilled specialists and patients. However, whether the use of telemedicine (text messaging) for LT patients was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown.

Methods
We collected data (following consent from patients and parents) from 57 patients (33 male/24 female) with a median age of 47 (IQR: 9–91) months, whom we followed up with text messaging between September 2019 and September 2020, spanning the 6 months prior to COVID-19 and during this period.

Results
In total, 723 text message mediated consultations occurred during this period, henceforth simply referred to as “messages.” Three hundred and twenty-eight (45%) messages occurred during the 6 months up to the start of the pandemic. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of messages increased to 395 (55%). The three most common reasons of messaging were post-liver-LT follow-up messages (n = 215/723, 29.7%), consultations for drug use (n = 157/723, 21.7%), and medication prescriptions (n = 113/723, 15.6%). Protocol biopsy discussions (n = 33/723, 4.6%) and fever (n = 27/723, 3.7%) were among others (vaccination, rash, diarrhea, cough, fatigue, acne). During the COVID-19 outbreak, only post-LT follow-up messages increased significantly to 132/395 (33%) from 83/328 (25%) (p-value: .02).

Conclusions
We found that the pandemic resulted in an increase in the total number of text message mediated consultations and specifically for the use of post-LT follow-up. Messaging was effective for post-LT follow-ups and all patients were at least satisfied.

Article numbere14138
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Journal citation26 (1)
Year2022
PublisherWiley
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/petr.14138
Publication dates
Published in printFeb 2022
Published online10 Sep 2021

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