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AAP study shows telehealth use common in pediatric primary care

April 1, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid increase in pediatric visits conducted by telehealth. By 2021, 78% of primary care pediatricians reported using telehealth for patient care in the past month, according to an AAP study (Fiks AG, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;150:e2022059306, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2022-059306).

Primary care pediatricians commonly reported using telehealth for sick visits (91%), mental health visits (85%) and chronic disease visits (71%). Far fewer reported using telehealth for new patient visits (22%).

Overall, 55% of primary care pediatricians reported that telehealth visits work very well or moderately well. However perceived effectiveness varied substantially by type of patient visit. Over 80% of pediatricians reported telehealth was very effective or moderately effective for mental health and chronic disease visits, but only 30% reported telehealth was very effective or moderately effective for new patient visits (see figure).

These findings are from the AAP Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study (PLACES), which tracks pediatricians’ career and life choices and experiences across their careers. This study of telehealth examined data collected in summer 2021 from 635 primary care pediatricians and subspecialists who graduated residency in 2016-’18, 2009-’11 and 2002-’04.

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