Patients’ views of a fetal ultrasound telemedicine service: A mixed methods evaluation study

Mabel L. S. Lie, Vikki Smith, Elaine Bidmead, Stephen Robson, Alison Marshall

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Introduction The aim of this study was to evaluate from the patient's perspective, a new fetal ultrasound telemedicine service to improve prenatal diagnosis and management at a rural district general hospital.

Methods Eligible patients requiring a specialist fetal medicine consultation were referred to a tertiary care centre for inclusion in the study. Women who underwent a telemedicine examination with a consultant guiding an ultra-sonographer and providing specialist counselling via video-conferencing link were approached to complete a structured questionnaire with the option of participating in a semi-structured telephone interview. The questionnaire included a 5-point scale to evaluate patient satisfaction with the consultation. The mixed methods analysis employed SPSS and Atlas.ti software packages.

Results Of the 80 consultations undertaken during the study, 38 new referrals having their first telemedicine consultation were approached; 31 returned survey questionnaires, and 16 interviewed. Survey and interview participants expressed very high satisfaction with the timely service (93.5 percent highly satisfied with quality of care overall), particularly as a result of the reduced travel times and costs. Analysis of the interviews revealed other advantages such as familiarity and continuity of care from staying local and increased confidence through the sharing of expertise, particularly during an anxious time in their pregnancies.

Conclusion A fetal ultrasound telemedicine service was highly acceptable to patients in this rural community, offering them a range of personal benefits as a result of easier access to specialist healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017
EventBritish Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society (BMFMS) : 19th Annual Conference - The Netherlands, Amsterdam
Duration: 30 Mar 201731 Mar 2017


ConferenceBritish Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society (BMFMS)
Abbreviated titleBMFMS
Internet address

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