General practitioners’ perceptions of asynchronous telemedicine in a randomized controlled trial of teledermatology.

COLLINS, K., BOWNS, I. and WALTERS, S. (2004). General practitioners’ perceptions of asynchronous telemedicine in a randomized controlled trial of teledermatology. Journal of telemedicine and telecare, 10 (2), 94-98.

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Background: Telemedicine is viewed as having a key role to play in the Government’s plans to modernise the NHS.1 However, to date there are few studies which have explored the views and acceptability of GPs towards telemedicine in primary care.

Aim: To elicit the perceptions of GPs towards teledermatology (TD) before and after it’s introduction into their Practices and to observe whether GP views of TD had changed over the course of the study.

Design of study: A postal questionnaire administered as part of a wider randomised controlled trial of telemedicine in dermatology.

Setting: A locality group of eight General Practices in Sheffield and a single teaching hospital in Sheffield that provided the local dermatology referral service.

Method: A postal questionnaire circulated to all GPs from the eight participating Practices.

Results: A 85.7% (36/42) response rate was achieved. Only 21% (n=7; 95% CI: 10-37%) of respondents felt satisfied/very satisfied with TD in their Practice, 47% (n=16) said that they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Thirty one per cent (n=10; 95% CI: 18-49%) said that they felt confident about diagnosis and management of care through TD, with 28% (n=9) reporting that they were unconfident. Only 23% (n=8; 95% CI: 12-39%) of respondents said that they would consider using a telemedicine system in the future, 34% (n=12) said they would probably or definitely not and 43% (n=15) were unsure. There was some evidence that GPs views about TD became more negative over the course of the study.

Conclusions: The study reports less favourable GP responses to telemedicine than observed in previous studies, and suggests that the model of telemedicine described in this study paper would not be widely acceptable to GPs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of telemedicine and telecare. The definitive version, detailed above, is available online at
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 94-98
Depositing User: Karen Collins
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2010 15:34
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 13:33

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