Telemedicine as effective for Parkinson’s disease patients as face-to-face consultation

Providing specialist care through video conferencing was no less effective than in-person visits and was more convenient, study finds.

Senior woman looking at laptop

People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can have difficulty accessing specialist physicians, and services vary across different locations.

In a study in Neurology (online, 16 August 2017), 195 people with PD were randomly assigned to receive usual care or four video conference consultations with a remote specialist in addition to usual care during a one-year trial[1]

The research team found that 98% of people assigned to the intervention received at least one virtual consultation and, overall, 91% of the planned 388 consultations took place. At the end of the year, there was no difference between the two groups in terms of change in quality of life (0.3 points worse on a 100-point scale; 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.0 to 2.7 points; P = 0.78), and they calculated that each virtual consultation saved patients a median of 88 minutes and 38 miles travel.

The researchers concluded that virtual consultations for PD are feasible, more convenient and no less effective than face-to-face visits.


[1] Beck C, Beran D, Biglan K et al. National randomized controlled trial of virtual house calls for Parkinson disease. Neurol 2017. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004357

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, January 2018, Vol 10, No 1;10(1):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203903

You may also be interested in