Telemedicine Use among Physiatrists during the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Potential for Future Use

Sameer Siddiqui, Ellen Farr, Nathaniel Dusto, Liqi Chen, Masha Kocherginsky, Felicia Skelton, Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, Sujin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic causing the need for social distancing, telemedicine saw a significant increase in use to provide routine medical care. As a field, physiatry had already been implementing telemedicine prior to the pandemic. In this study, we characterized the use of telemedicine among physiatrists during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic to understand the barriers and facilitators to implementing telemedicine use in the field of physiatry in the future. Methods: Online survey of a cross-sectional sample of physiatrists. Analysis was conducted using logistic regression. Results: One hundred seventy one (n = 171) participants completed the survey. Before the pandemic, only 17.5% of respondents used telemedicine. In the logistic regression, physicians who used a hospital-provided platform were more likely to use telemedicine in the future compared with those who used their own secure platform, conducted a phone visit, and used a non-secure platform or other platforms. The three most popular barriers identified were "inability to complete the physical examination,""patients lack of access to technology,"and "patients lack of familiarity with the technology."Discussion: Focus on education on telemedicine functional examination strategies and technology strategies for patients and providers (including addressing the digital divide and hospital-provided secure platforms) are potential targets of implementation strategies for greater telemedicine uptake for physiatrists in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-252
Number of pages11
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • digital divide
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics


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