December 16, 2020

Usefulness, Limitations, and Parental Opinion about Teleconsultation for Rare Pediatric Epilepsies

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Aim: Evaluation of the usefulness and the parental opinion about teleconsultation (TC) for rare pediatric epilepsies.

Method: One-month prospective survey of consecutive TCs. All clinics on site have been turned into TC in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. The physicians quoted all TCs while the parents expressed their opinion though an invitation for an online questionnaire.

Results: We included 151 TCs (145 patients) among the 259 epilepsy TCs done during the study period. The parental questionnaire has been answered 105 times. The physicians felt confident to organize a TC for the next visit of 74.8% of the children, but some limits were identified such as the absence of physical examination, weight, and psychomotor development evaluation. The physicians felt more confident for a new TC in older patients (9.5 ± 5.5 years versus 5.3 ± 4.3 years) and in stable patients (73.8% confident for instable, 82.8% for stable). Parents were satisfied with TC feeling that it answered health issues in a better manner than a clinic pinpointing the gain of time and the absence of travel. However, half of them would prefer a clinic for the next appointment.

Interpretation: Teleconsultation seems useful answering the patients’ needs according to both physicians and families. Despite some limitations, it is most likely that TCs become a new part of the clinical activities in rare pediatric epilepsy centers.

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