JointHealth™ express   November 9, 2021

Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) today presented the results of a national survey - Arthritis Patient Perspectives on Virtual Care for People Living with Arthritis During the COVID-19 Pandemic and for the Future - at the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) annual meeting. The annual meeting is one of the world’s largest annual meetings in rheumatology and this year features expert presentations from over 320 clinicians, researchers, health experts and patients.

About ACE’s abstract

An abstract is a brief summary of the project. It outlines the objectives (research goal), methods (processes), results (findings/what the researchers learned) and significance of the project to the field being studied.

From January 20th to February 9th, 2021, ACE conducted a 23-question online survey targeting individuals diagnosed with arthritis and their experiences with in-person and virtual care services. The questions on the survey inquired about levels of satisfaction with service delivery, and the importance of virtual care moving forward.

Key Take-aways
  • Over 85% of Survey respondents reported being very satisfied or satisfied with the virtual care services they received.
  • Over 65% of Survey respondents reported that in the future they would prefer a mix of in-person and virtual care services, with a preference of in-person for more complex examinations (e.g., joint counts) and virtual consults to augment care (e.g., in-between visits or to support patient self-care).
  • Arthritis patients identified several difficulties they experience when accessing virtual care services, including:
    • the uneven distribution of broadband and high-speed internet across the country
    • access to required electronic devices that can support a video call
    • lack of digital literacy and discomfort using virtual care technology
  • Respondents living with arthritis who identified as Black, Indigenous or a person of colour were:
    • significantly more likely to experience factors that made it difficult to use virtual care services
    • more likely to report having no access to virtual care services
    • less likely to be very satisfied with their virtual care experiences
Click here to learn more about ACE’s survey.