RESEARCH ARTICLE


Patient Perceptions with Virtual Family Medicine Clinics in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia



Hajer Adel Alsubaie1, 2, Bussma Ahmed Bugis1, *
1 Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Saudi Electronic University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Digital Health, Eastern Health Cluster, Dammam, Saudi Arabia


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Creative Commons License
© 2023 Alsubaie and Bugis

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Saudi Electronic University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; Tel: (966) 55613777; E-mail: bussma31311@yahoo.com


Abstract

Background:

With the growth of technology and with many people having access to the internet, there has been an increasing trend of many people embracing telemedicine and virtual clinics. In Saudi Arabia, there is limited data and information about the perceptions of the patients regarding virtual clinics, especially for family medicine virtual care.

Objective:

This study was conducted to fill this gap by determining the patients’ perceptions of family medicine virtual clinics in Saudi Arabia.

Methods:

The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study. This study employed the use of a survey approach to evaluate the patient's perceptions of family medicine virtual care in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The targeted population was the adult patients who used family medicine virtual services in 2021.

Results:

The study population was 395 participants. The plurality of respondents (38.50%) had rated their previous use of virtual family medicine as very good, and 44.60% have experienced an improvement in their health, 46.60% received enough information, and 49.10% felt that their privacy was respected.

Conclusion:

In Saudi Arabia, virtual clinics seem to be increasing in terms of popularity, and different approaches have been used in different conditions and specialties. Virtual family medicine services need improvement for enhanced adoption. Home health management, protecting patient privacy, and improvements in technical requirements would enhance patient experience with virtual family medicine services for many patients in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Patient perceptions, Virtual, Family medicine, E-medicine, Telemedicine, General medicine.