Virtual visits for Parkinson disease: A multicenter noncontrolled cohort


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Abstract

Objective:Previous small-scale studies have demonstrated the feasibility of providing remote specialty care via virtual visits. We assessed the feasibility and benefits of a one-time consultation between a remote Parkinson Disease (PD) specialist and an individual with PD at home on a larger scale.Methods:We conducted a multicenter noncontrolled cohort of virtual visits administered over videoconferencing between remote PD specialists and individuals with PD in their home. Specialists performed a patient history and a PD-specific physical examination and provided recommendations to patients and their local physicians. The primary outcome measures were feasibility, as measured by the proportion of visits completed as scheduled, and the 6-month change in quality of life, as measured by the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire 39. Additional outcomes included satisfaction with visits and interest in future virtual visits.Results:A total of 277 participants from 5 states enrolled, 258 participants completed virtual visits with 14 different physicians, and 91% of visits were completed as scheduled. No improvement in quality of life was observed at 6 months (0.4-point improvement; 95% confidence interval −1.5 to 0.6; p = 0.39). Overall satisfaction with virtual visits was high among physicians (94% satisfied or very satisfied) and patients (94% satisfied or very satisfied), and 74% of participants were interested in receiving future care via virtual visits.Conclusions:Providing specialty care remotely into the homes of individuals with PD is feasible, but a one-time visit did not improve quality of life. Satisfaction with the visits was high among physicians and patients, who were interested in receiving such care in the future.Classification of evidence:This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with PD, remote specialty care is feasible but does not improve quality of life.Clinicaltrials.gov identifier:NCT02144220.

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