Acceptability of Telemedicine Among Parents of Adolescent Patients in an Adolescent Clinic: Cross-sectional Survey Study

JMIR Pediatr Parent. 2022 Dec 21;5(4):e39704. doi: 10.2196/39704.


Background: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, new literature has described the perceptions of adolescent patients on the use of telemedicine for their health care, but less attention has been devoted to parents' and caregivers' perspectives on telemedicine usage for their adolescents. Parents' perspectives are important, as they undoubtedly influence how children learn to make decisions about their health care.

Objective: This study describes the level of acceptability (measured based on accessibility and satisfaction) expressed by caregivers of adolescent patients with regard to telemedicine visits in an urban adolescent medicine practice.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was sent electronically to parents and guardians of patients aged <18 years who completed outpatient telemedicine visits to an adolescent medicine practice in Chicago, Illinois, from March 2020 to February 2021. The questions focused on accessibility and satisfaction. The data were analyzed to describe response frequencies.

Results: Among a sample of 71 survey respondents, the vast majority reported that telemedicine was very easy to use (58/71, 82%) and was at least as convenient as in-person visits (70/71, 99%). Over 90% of respondents reported that their adolescents' needs were addressed (69/69, 100%) and that they were at least as comfortable with the level of privacy and the confidential conversations between their adolescents and medical providers in telemedicine visits (65/71, 92%) as they were with those in in-person visits.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that parents and guardians find telemedicine to be an acceptable way for their children and adolescents to receive appropriate health care.

Keywords: acceptability; adolescent medicine; caregivers; confidentiality; privacy; satisfaction; telemedicine.