Journal of Family & Community Medicine
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48-54

Patient satisfaction with virtual clinic during Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in primary healthcare, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed N Aldosari
Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_353_20

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BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. Since that time, medical services in Saudi Arabia have adapted to the situation by delivering medical care via virtual clinics. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess patients' level of satisfaction with virtual clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted among patients who had experienced virtual clinics in primary healthcare centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. An online validated questionnaire was sent to all participants who had at least one virtual visit between March 2020 to July 2020. The data sought included demographics, level of satisfaction and questions related to their experience with virtual clinics. Computed frequencies and percentages for categorical variables, and median, mean, and standard deviation for continuous variables. Satisfaction scores were compared between groups using Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal Wallis test. RESULTS: A total of 439 patients completed the questionnaire (response rate 97.5%); 54% were male. The participants were divided into three age groups: 18–39, 40–59, and ≥60 years. Overall level of patients' satisfaction with virtual clinic was 68.1%. Factors statistically significantly associated with satisfaction included gender, age group and level of education (post-graduate and middle school) and being well-informed on the use of telemedicine. Specific age groups that were significant were 18–39 and 40–59 years; 50.2% of the males found telemedicine very convenient, compared to only 36.1% females. Family medicine clinics were the most commonly visited virtual clinics, whereas obstetrics and gynecology clinics were the least attended virtual clinics. The inability to meet the health-care professional face-to-face was reported by 53.8% as the most important disadvantage. CONCLUSION: This study shows a high level of satisfaction with virtual clinics in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the service being relatively new in healthcare service in the country. Our study demonstrated that satisfaction was linked to age, gender, education and the type of clinic used.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010