During the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Academy of Audiology (2020) provided audiologists with guidance regarding the use of telehealth services. In October 2021, the Academy released a position statement titled The Use of Telehealth for the Delivery of Audiological Services.
Members can access this statement here.
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have expanded telehealth services, how much were these services actually utilized? Was it equally used by all populations? Lucas and Villarroel (2022) recently published a report examining the use of telehealth services by adults (aged 18 years and older). Specifically, these authors analyzed data from the question, “in the past 12 months, have you had an appointment with a doctor, nurse, or other health professional by video or by phone?” that was collected as part of the 2021 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
They also examined the use of telehealth services as it related to select sociodemographic and geographic variables. Lucas and Villaroel (2022) reported that 37 percent of respondents reported having used telehealth services in the past year. They also demonstrated that use of such services varied by sex, age, race/ethnicity, income, education, geographic region, and level of urbanization. Interested readers can access the full report to see what impact these variables had on the use of telehealth services.
While the data reported by Lucas and Villarroel (2022) was not specific to audiology, it does remind us that there may be some patients who may not make use of telehealth services and/or may have more barriers in being able to do so.
American Academy of Audiology. (2021, October Position Statement: The Use of Telehealth for the Delivery of Audiological Services (accessed November 1, 2022).
American Academy of Audiology. (2020, April) COVID-19 Telehealth Update and Guidance. (accessed November 1, 2022).
Lucas JW, Villarroel MA. (2022) Telemedicine use among adults: United States, 2021. NCHS Data Brief, no 445, Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:121435.
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