Chronic conditions patient's perception of post-COVID-19 pandemic teleconsulting continuation in primary care clinics: a qualitative descriptive study

BMJ Open. 2022 Dec 15;12(12):e066871. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066871.


Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the prioritisation of teleconsultation instead of face-to-face encounters. However, teleconsultation revealed some shortcomings and undesirable effects that may counterbalance benefits. This study aims to explore the perspective of patients with chronic diseases on teleconsultation in primary care. This article also proposes recommendations to provide patient-oriented and appropriate teleconsultations.

Design: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study that explored the patients' perception regarding teleconsultation services and the following themes: access, perceived benefits and disadvantages, interprofessional collaboration, patient-centred approach, specific competencies of professionals, and patient's global needs and preferences.

Setting: Six primary care clinics in three regions of Quebec.

Participants: 39 patients were interviewed by telephone through semistructured qualitative interviews.

Results: Patients want to maintain teleconsultation for the postpandemic period as long as their recommendations are followed: be able to choose to come to the clinic if they wish to, feel that their individual and environmental characteristics are considered, feel involved in the choice of the modality of each consultation, feel that interprofessional collaboration and patient-centred approach are promoted, and to maintain the professionalism, which must not be lessened despite the remote context.

Conclusion: Patients mainly expressed high satisfaction with teleconsultation. However, several issues must be addressed. Patients do and should contribute to the implementation of teleconsultation in primary care. They wish to be frequently consulted about their preferred consultation modality, which may change over time. The patient perspective must, therefore, be part of the balanced implementation of optimal teleconsultation that is currently taking place.

Keywords: COVID-19; organisation of health services; primary care; qualitative research; telemedicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Perception
  • Primary Health Care
  • Remote Consultation*