Accessible Care with High Patient Satisfaction: Telemedicine Use in Sickle Cell Disease

Shu Zhang, Wingel Xue, Eric Pickering Boorman, Elizabeth Ruvalcaba, Mandy David, Sophie Miriam Lanzkron, Michelle Nuttall Eakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid transition to telemedicine, providing a critical opportunity to study telemedicine satisfaction and usability in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was completed by 99 adult SCD patients who participated in at least one telemedicine visit between March and July 2020. Telemedicine satisfaction and usability were assessed with the Telemedicine Satisfaction Questionnaire (TSQ) and System Usability Scale (SUS), respectively. Preference for video visits was assessed with a 1-10 rating scale, with 10 indicating the highest preference. Measures of anxiety, depression, and patient activation were also assessed. Linear and logistic regressions were performed to evaluate for socioeconomic and psychosocial correlates of telemedicine satisfaction, usability, and preference. Results: Participants were 72% women, with a mean age of 39 years. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) TSQ was 56 (52-64) out of 70, indicating high satisfaction. The median (IQR) SUS was 72.5 (62.5-82.5) out of 100, indicating above average usability. Participants tended to prefer video visits for regular care (median [IQR] rating of 7 [5-9]) but not for management of acute pain (median [IQR] rating of 4 [2-8]). Neither satisfaction nor usability was associated with age or mental health. Telemedicine usability was positively associated with having private insurance compared with public insurance. Higher scores on both satisfaction and usability were associated with higher patient activation. Conclusions: Adults with SCD report good usability and high satisfaction with telemedicine, across multiple demographic groups. Therefore, telemedicine has valuable potential to improve access to high-quality care for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1077
Number of pages10
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • patient activation
  • patient satisfaction
  • sickle cell
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine
  • usability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics

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