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Original research
Satisfaction with telemedicine-delivered inflammatory bowel disease care depends on disease activity, personality and economic factors
  1. Darragh Storan1,2,
  2. Joseph Lavelle3,
  3. Anne-Marie Burke1,
  4. Mary Hamzawi1,
  5. Orna Brett-Kilmurray1,
  6. Noemi De Dominicis1,
  7. Louise McHugh3,
  8. Hugh E Mulcahy1,2
  1. 1 Centre for Colorectal Disease, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3 School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Darragh Storan, Centre for Colorectal Disease, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin D04 T6F4, Ireland; dstoran{at}


Objective Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) traditionally receive follow-up care at face-to-face outpatient clinics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, gastroenterology societies recommended IBD clinics to be carried out remotely where possible using telephone or telemedicine-delivered virtual clinics. Previous studies have demonstrated patient satisfaction with virtual clinics but few studies have examined factors that impact satisfaction or assessed patient’s personal perception of the virtual clinic experience.

Design/method Patients who had their IBD clinic appointment changed from face-to-face to telephone virtual clinic completed a questionnaire relating to their clinical experience and preference for future care. Qualitative data were also collected and evaluated using content analysis to identify major themes associated with the patient experience.

Results 141 patients were included for analysis. The virtual clinic satisfaction questionnaire was found to be valid while patients expressed high-satisfaction levels with virtual clinics (median satisfaction score 18, range 0–20). Multivariate analysis identified open personality type (p=0.004), short disease duration (p=0.047) and higher cost to attend clinic (p=0.047) as predictors of high-satisfaction levels, with active disease (p=0.035) and an agreeable personality type (p=0.042) associated with low satisfaction levels. Content analysis of the qualitative data identified three major themes connected to virtual clinic convenience, lack of physical interaction and disease activity.

Conclusion Patients expressed high levels of satisfaction with telemedicine-delivered IBD clinics, with most wishing to continue their use. Personality type should be recognised as an important variable affecting clinical satisfaction, in addition to socioeconomic and disease-related factors.

  • COVID-19

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. The data underlying this article will be shared on reasonable request to the corresponding author.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. The data underlying this article will be shared on reasonable request to the corresponding author.

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  • Contributors Study design: DS, LM, HEM. Patient recruitment and data acquisition: JL, A-MB, MH, OB-K, NDD. Data Analysis and Interpretation: DS, JL, LM, HEM. Manuscript Drafting: DS, HEM. Manuscript revision and redrafting: All authors. Article guarantor: HEM.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer HEM has served as a speaker for Dr Falk Pharma, MSD, Ferring, Boston Scientific, Tillotts and Janssen, serves as a consultant for Boston Scientific and has received funding from Pfizer, Dr Falk and AbbVie.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.