National randomized controlled trial of virtual house calls for people with Parkinson's disease: Interest and barriers
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BACKGROUND: Delivering specialty care remotely directly into people's homes can enhance access for and improve the healthcare of individuals with chronic conditions. However, evidence supporting this approach is limited. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Connect.Parkinson is a randomized comparative effectiveness study that compares usual care of individuals with Parkinson's disease in the community with usual care augmented by virtual house calls with a Parkinson's disease specialist from 1 of 18 centers nationally. Individuals in the intervention arm receive four virtual visits from a Parkinson's disease specialist over 1 year via secure, Web-based videoconferencing directly into their homes. All study activities, including recruitment, enrollment, and assessments, are conducted remotely. Here we report on interest, feasibility, and barriers to enrollment in this ongoing study. RESULTS: During recruitment, 11,734 individuals visited the study's Web site, and 927 unique individuals submitted electronic interest forms. Two hundred ten individuals from 18 states enrolled in the study from March 2014 to June 2015, and 195 were randomized. Most participants were white (96%) and college educated (73%). Of the randomized participants, 73% had seen a Parkinson's disease specialist within the previous year. CONCLUSIONS: Among individuals with Parkinson's disease, national interest in receiving remote specialty care directly into the home is high. Remote enrollment in this care model is feasible but is likely affected by differential access to the Internet.
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