French experience with telemedicine in inflammatory bowel disease: a patients and physicians survey

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Apr 1;34(4):398-404. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000002319.


Background and aims: The use of telemedicine dramatically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. We collected patients and physicians experience on telemedicine in the field of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Methods: We conducted a nationwide survey between September 2020 and January 2021. A self-administered questionnaire was sent to participants through mailing lists of the national patients' association and IBD expert groups.

Results: Overall, 300 patients and 110 gastroenterologists filled out the survey. On a 10 points scale of satisfaction with telemedicine, 60% of patients noted a score ≥8 and 52.7% of physicians ≥7. Patients and gastroenterologists felt that the duration of teleconsultations appeared to be shorter than in-person visits in 57.5 and 55.1% of cases, respectively. All participants agreed that telemedicine is appropriate in dedicated situations and not for flare-up consultations. For 55.1% of patients, quality of care was the same via telemedicine, whereas 51.4% of gastroenterologists believed they managed less well their patients. Lack of clinical examination being pointed out as the main limitation of telemedicine. Three-quarters of patients and gastroenterologists would agree to use telemedicine more often in the future.

Conclusion: Patients and gastroenterologists were satisfied with telemedicine and would be willing to use it in the future. However, telemedicine does not replace in-person visits and should be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / therapy
  • Pandemics
  • Physicians*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*