The use of telemedicine by physicians during the covid-19 pandemic in brazil
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Federal University of Minas Gerais Brazil
Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Brazil
4 Brazil
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A449
Background and objectives:
The COVID-19 pandemic had a stimulating effect on the use of telemedicine worldwide. The present study aimed to investigate the use of telemedicine by physicians in Brazil prior to and during the pandemic.

We carried out a descriptive exploratory cross-sectional study through an online survey with 2.541 physicians in Brazil between October 2020 and January 2021. Respondents were classified according to their primary specialties.

The prior use of telemedicine was more common among primary care physicians: 22% of respondents in this group already used telemedicine and 13,7% started to use it after the pandemic. However, most of the respondents started using telemedicine after the break of the COVID-19 pandemic: 41% of clinical specialists, 35% of primary care physicians, and 27,6% of surgical specialists. Among diagnostic/therapeutic specialists, 44% declared that they did not use or intend to use telemedicine in the future. More than half of the respondents declared not to have received any additional payments related to telemedicine, especially among primary healthcare physicians (80%). 66% and more of the respondents from all specialty groups believe that the use of telemedicine expands access to health care services. However, with the exception of primary care physicians, the majority opinion of the respondents is that telemedicine can reduce the quality and safety of care.

The use of telemedicine prior to the pandemic was more common among primary care physicians. Despite having expanded the use of this tool in all groups of specialists, in comparison to the others, primary care physicians still demonstrate greater familiarity with the use of telemedicine and possible benefits for health services.

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