Authors: Molly E DeWitt-Foy, Jacob A Albersheim, Shawn T Grove, Lina Hamid, Sally Berryman, Sean P Elliot
Publication Year: 2023
Last Updated: January 2023
Journal: Société Internationale d'Urologie Journal
Keywords: Covid-19; Infection Disease; Urinary; Telehealth
Short Abstract: Objective: To characterize the difference in uptake of virtual care for urinary tract infections (UTIs) by demographic variables in the COVID-19 era.
Abstract: Objective: To characterize the difference in uptake of virtual care for urinary tract infections (UTIs) by demographic variables in the COVID-19 era. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of outpatient encounters for UTIs across a large health care system. The cohort was defined as patients with an encounter diagnosis of UTI via in-person or virtual care (telephone or technology-supported care), between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021. Analysis was limited to the first UTI encounter of the year for each patient. We compared the use of in-person and virtual visits by demographic variables using chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression. Results: A total of 6744 patients, with a mean age of 61 years, were seen for UTI during the study period. The majority of patients were White (85.5%) and female (83.7%) and were seen in person (55.9%). Of those seen virtually, 52.0% participated in telephone-only visits, and 47.9% were seen via technology-supported care, using video or chat-based platforms. On multivariate logistic regression, age under 30, lowest-quartile income, male sex, and a primary language other than English increased the odds that patients had been seen in person. Among those seen virtually, age over 50 significantly increased the odds of a telephone visit, as did being Black or Native American, having a lower-quartile income, and speaking a non-English primary language. Conclusions: Although the expansion in virtual care has given some patients easier access to necessary care, the “digital divide” has worsened existing disparities for certain vulnerable populations. We demonstrate a difference in uptake of virtual health care by age, race, primary language, and income.
Source: Link to Original Article.
Type of Resource: Peer-reviewed scientific article