HealthDay News — During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in willingness to use video telehealth, according to a report published in the November issue of Health Affairs.
Shira H. Fischer, M.D., Ph.D., from the RAND Corporation in Boston, and colleagues examined use of and willingness to use video telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic in a longitudinal cohort study conducted using a nationally representative survey panel.
The researchers found that from February 2019 to March 2021, there was an overall increase in willingness to use video telehealth from 50.8 to 62.2 percent. Black adults and adults with lower educational attainment had especially pronounced increases. Before the pandemic, Black adults were less willing to use telehealth than those of other races or ethnicities, with 42 percent reporting willingness in February 2019 compared with 67 percent one year into the pandemic, which was as high or higher than other racial or ethnic groups. By March 2021, the groups reporting highest use of telehealth were Black adults, adults ages 20 to 39 years, adults with less than a high school education, and low-income adults (57, 52, 62, and 52 percent, respectively).
“It is promising that our results show that willingness to use telehealth can and does change over time in response to changing circumstances,” the authors write.