Healthcare professionals’ perspectives of remote consulting during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on service delivery for people with asthma

05 May 2022
Respiratory conditions
  • COVID-19
  • Asthma
Type of resource
Malaga 2022
Flora Flinn, University of Edinburgh
Clinical Research Results Abstract IntroductionSince March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, primary care clinicians have conducted consultations remotely via telephone, video and asynchronous platforms to reduce the spread of the virus.We aimed to explore primary care practitioners’ perspectives of remote consulting during the pandemic and how it impacted service delivery for people with asthma.Methods In March 2021, 4 semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs and nurses from across the UK and a short online survey was developed and piloted with 23 clinicians. In January 2022, 6 further interviews were conducted with 5 GPs and one community pharmacist. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed through thematic analysis.Preliminary results Initial interviews and surveys found mixed impacts of remote consultations with pandemic-specific factors creating a conducive environment for new innovations. Level of technological support influenced success and further training and support for clinicians was indicated. It was felt that remote consulting presented specific barriers to quality care. Participants saw a role for remote platforms to be integrated alongside face-to-face consultations. Recent interviews concurred with these themes and raised additional issues about suitability of remote consulting as a way of reducing the primary care workload. There were additional concerns about GP job satisfaction when consulting remotely. Remote consulting was felt to be effective for asthma management but unsuitable and unsafe for assessment of acute exacerbations.DiscussionClinicians felt generally positive about remote consultations but described limitations in terms of quality and suitability for all consultation types and patient groups. Findings of this study could be used to improve remote platform use in primary care. Results are also of relevance to policymakers; concerns about GP job satisfaction have potential implications for the recruitment and retention crisis in primary care. Additionally, there are emerging concerns about the workload and efficiency of remote consulting. Research Idea Abstract Service Development & Evaluation Abstract Declaration of Interest Authors declare no competing interests. References and Clinical Trial Registry Information