Uptake of telehealth in Parkinson's disease clinical care and research during the COVID-19 pandemic

Parkinson Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Introduction: Traditionally, medical care and research in Parkinson's disease (PD) have been conducted with in-person encounters. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the delivery of in-person clinical care and clinical research. We conducted an online survey of active clinician members of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG) to evaluate the adoption of various non-face-to-face methods in clinical practice and research in PD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted a survey using the open-access online SurveyMonkey tool (http://www.surveymonkey.com). The survey had 27 items and was designed to elucidate clinical/research care before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was sent to 414 active PSG members with weekly reminders and it remained accessible for 30 days from May 2020. Results: We received 142 responses, of which 133 (93.7%) provided demographic data. The clinical use of virtual visits via synchronous video conferencing increased from 39.5% pre-COVID-19 to 94.6% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of access for patients (68.2%) and patient resistance (51.4%) were the top barriers for its use. Approximately 70% respondents stated that 75–100% of their research activities were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many sites had to fill out protocol deviations (38.2%), protocol exceptions (25.5%) or change their research profile due to layoffs (16.8%). The overall use of video conferencing increased from 30.3% to 64.1%. Conclusion: The current results suggest a need for flexibility in conducting office visits and clinical trials in PD patients. Technology has the potential to enhance patient care and convenience, when in-person visits can be challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-100
Number of pages4
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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