What has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us about the use of virtual consultations in primary care?

Jane Desborough, Sally Hall Dykgraaf, Elizabeth Sturgiss, Anne Parkinson, Garang Dut, Michael Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background Telehealth has been a very useful resource in primary care consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective The aim of this article is to examine primary care providers’ (PCPs’) and patients’ experiences of using video and telephone modalities and their perceptions of the quality of telehealth. Discussion Video consultations offer the advantage of enabling visualisation of a patient’s visual affect and physical appearance, and they are helpful in building therapeutic relationships. However, many PCPs and patients find telephone consultations of equal value, and this has been the preferred telehealth modality internationally. This may be due to challenges experienced by PCPs and patients with the set-up and use of video consultation technologies, and the quality of these experiences. Some members of a number of at-risk groups have experienced greater challenges with this. The future of telehealth in primary care requires its coherent integration into clinical infrastructure and substantial bolstering of community access and capacity to use both video and telephone modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Telehealth
  • Video consultations


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