The COVID-pandemic has required changes to healthcare delivery and has been a stressful time for people with diabetes mellitus (DM) . Previous literature suggests that virtual health appointments for diabetes care can be effective and result in high patient satisfaction. However, it is unclear if patients with DM are satisfied with the widespread adoption of virtual care during the pandemic. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of virtual care during the pandemic on patient satisfaction in patients with type 1 and type 2 DM. The validated Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ-III) was completed by 197 patients who had an in-person appointment in the six months before March 18, 2020 (pre-COVID) and a subsequent virtual appointment within six months after that date. For each form of healthcare delivery (i.e. in-person and virtual) , the satisfaction in six aspects of care was measured: general satisfaction, technical quality, interpersonal manner, communication, time spent with doctor, and accessibility of care. Both type 2 DM and age >55 years were associated with decreased general satisfaction with virtual care compared to in-person care. Both type 2 DM and female sex were associated with decreased technical quality of care. Accessibility of care decreased significantly in the overall study group. No significant differences in patient satisfaction were observed in the type 1 DM group. Despite our findings, 74% of respondents answered they would consider virtual health appointments in the future. Our data suggests that many patients welcome virtual health as an addition to their medical care. However, virtual health does not seem to deliver the same level of patient satisfaction as in-person appointments over the longer term. Future research on how fatigue with pandemic restrictions has affected patient satisfaction is needed to evaluate whether virtual health appointments are a viable option for long term diabetes care.
C.Chang: None. A.Dissanayake: None. M.Pawlowska: Advisory Panel; Novo Nordisk, Other Relationship; Medtronic. B.Schroeder: Advisory Panel; Novartis Canada, Novartis Canada, Novartis Canada, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. J.Mackenzie-feder: Advisory Panel; Recordati S.p.A. A.White: Advisory Panel; AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Eli Lilly and Company, HLS Therapeutics Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.