Diabetic Patients Find Technology Useful to Communicate With Physicians - As Long As It Is Free

26 Oct, 2010, 14:27 ET from American Osteopathic Association

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many patients with diabetes might make a phone call or send an e-mail to communicate with their physicians outside of scheduled office visits but the majority of patients are not willing to pay for these services, according to research presented at the American Osteopathic Association's (AOA) 115th Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition, known as OMED 2010 Unified, in San Francisco.

In a sample study of 300 patients with diabetes, 42% communicated with their physicians by telephone outside of scheduled office visits and 13% used e-mail. However, 62% of patients said they would not pay to communicate with their physicians outside of scheduled office visits.

"Patients want some way to communicate with their physicians, such as by phone or pager, to ask questions about managing their diabetes or to share information about their condition, such as their blood sugar levels," explains study co-author Jay H. Shubrook, Jr., DO, an AOA board-certified osteopathic family physician from Athens, Ohio. "They like the access but they don't want to pay for it."

The study also found older respondents, who averaged between ages 51 and 60, did not use Twitter or Facebook to communicate with their physician. Only 69% of respondents had Internet access at home. As Dr. Shubrook, an associate professor of family medicine and a diabetologist at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, explains, older adults who live on a fixed income do not find paying for the Internet a priority compared to their other expenses, including those related to other medical conditions.

An abstract detailing Dr. Shubrook's study titled "Patient Physician Communication in the Twitter Age: Patient Preferences" was published in the August 2010 issue of the JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 70,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs); promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.

SOURCE American Osteopathic Association



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