Telemedicine in sickle cell disease: Patient, parent, and provider perspectives

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Pediatric blood & cancer




access to care; satisfaction; sickle cell disease; telemedicine


INTRODUCTION: Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) need frequent health maintenance visits and may face barriers accessing care. Telemedicine, during COVID pandemic, has provided a unique model of care to improve access; however, potential barriers and satisfaction with its use in SCD have not been fully evaluated. OBJECTIVE: To determine caregiver, patient, and healthcare provider (HCP) perspectives and satisfaction with telemedicine in healthcare delivery. METHODS: We surveyed patients with SCD, caregivers, and HCP, who participated in at least one telemedicine visit from March 2020 to June 2021, using the Telemedicine Usability Questionnaire (TUQ). We also accessed and compared the Press Ganey surveys completed by families who completed a telemedicine or in-person visit. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics. The internal reliability of TUQ was assessed using Cronbach's coefficient alpha. Press Ganey data comparing satisfaction with telemedicine versus in-person visits were analyzed by Mann-Whiney U test. RESULTS: Fifty-two patients/caregivers and 10 HCP completed the survey. Patients/caregivers rated satisfaction "excellent" in the five areas (Usefulness, Ease of use, Effectiveness, Reliability and Satisfaction). HCP rated Usefulness, Ease of use, Effectiveness, Satisfaction as "good," and Reliability as "excellent." Press Ganey scores for satisfaction with care for telemedicine and in-person visits were not statistically different (p > .05). DISCUSSION: We found high satisfaction for caregivers and patients as well as HCP in the delivery of clinical services via telemedicine for SCD. We suggest that telemedicine is a viable option for this population and may help overcome the barriers SCD families often face accessing care.