Jordan Alpert, Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed secure messaging between clinicians and patients to determine the most discussed topics and what communication was like at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A content analysis was completed of over 4,200 secure messages at a large cancer center in the southeastern U.S. collected from February – May 2020.
Key findings include:
- Patients with cancer looked at their oncology team as a source to get specific COVID-19 guidelines related to their treatment and illness.
- Direct information from clinicians was found to enhance patients’ trust in their medical team.
- The largest age group in the study was 45-64, so researchers suggested this study’s setting can be used to determine effective strategies for technology use in older populations
- Patients expressed a preference for secure messaging over using the phone.