THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A majority of stroke patients would prefer a video call, instead of a phone call, when their doctor follows up with them after they leave the hospital, a small study finds.
Among 52 stroke patients who were asked how they wanted their doctor to contact them after they left the hospital, nearly 58 percent preferred a video call and about 42 percent said a phone call, the researchers found.
But all 14 patients aged 55 and younger said they'd prefer a video call, compared with about 70 percent of those aged 65 and younger, according to the study by neurologists at Northwell Health in Manhasset, N.Y.
The findings were scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Stroke Association, in Los Angeles. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
"With technology as advanced as it is, we wanted to know if patients would be happier getting on a face-to-face call with a health care professional as opposed to a telephone call," study co-author Dr. Paul Wright said in a Northwell news release.
"This technology could help us get as much information as possible from our patients and provide a service to the community in a very timely, easily accessible manner," added Wright. He is chairman of neurology at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
Study co-author Dr. Jeffrey Katz, chief of vascular neurology and director of the Stroke Center at North Shore University Hospital, pointed out that patients like seeing their doctors face-to-face, and a phone call is less personal.
"It's also better to be able to see our patients because we learn a lot by looking at someone. We're not just getting information from their voice. As they say, a picture's worth a thousand words," Katz said.
By helping doctors monitor a patient's appearance and better deal with problems, such as confusion over medication use, video calls could help reduce a stroke patient's risk of requiring readmission to the hospital, the researchers said.
The American Stroke Association has more on life after stroke.