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A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Barriers Associated With Non-Attendance at a Urology Telehealth Clinic in a Safety-Net Hospital

      ABSTRACT

      Objective

      To analyze the factors associated with non-attendance at a urology telehealth clinic in a large urban safety-net hospital after institutional-mandated transition to telehealth due to COVID-19.

      Methods

      We identified all encounters scheduled for telehealth after March 17, 2020 and in the subsequent 8 weeks. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with attendance.

      Results

      In total there were 322 telehealth encounters, 228 (70.8%) of which were attended and 94 (29.2%) that were not attended. Racial/ethnic minorities accounted for 175 (77.0%) of attended and 73 (76.7%) of non-attended encounters. On multivariable regression, single/divorced/widowed (odds ratio [OR] 2.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-4.43), current substance use disorder (OR 5.33, 95% CI 2.04-13.98), and being scheduled for a new patient appointment (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.04-3.13) were associated with higher odds of not attending a telehealth encounter. Race/ethnicity, primary language, and country of birth were not associated with odds of attendance.

      Conclusion

      Our findings identify several social factors (social support, substance use) associated with non-attendance at outpatient telehealth urology encounters at an urban safety-net hospital during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. These barriers may have a greater impact specifically within a safety-net healthcare system and will inform equitable provision of urology telehealth programs in the future

      Funding

      Goldberg-Benioff Endowed Professorship in Cancer Biology. The sponsors had no involvement with this study.
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