Oral Presentation Joint Scientific Meeting of the Australian & NZ Head & Neck Cancer Society & NZ Association of Plastic Surgeons

Review of patient perceptions and accessibility using telehealth consultations in an outpatient head and neck cancer setting (1424)

Kaman Dhillon 1 , Jamil Manji 1 , Mario Tapia 1 , Matthew Magarey 1 , Sam Flatman 1 , Jessica Prasad 1 , Kevin Nguyen 1 , Stephen Kleid 1
  1. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


This study aims to evaluate acceptability, satisfaction and perceptions of Telehealth technology amongst patients having ongoing cancer care with the Head and Neck surgery clinic at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


This cross-sectional study recruited patients that attended Head & Neck Telehealth clinic appointments between March - September 2020. Patients completed a survey including demographic, socioeconomic and clinical variables, and an array of questions in Likert scale format. The primary outcome measure was patient satisfaction with Telehealth clinical review. 


115 patients were invited to participate, and 100 were included in the analysis. Greater than 90% of patient’s had a positive experience with Telehealth appointments and most importantly were willing to have future Telehealth appointments, especially if they were every second appointment. In contrast, 24% of patients who felt that a lack of examination was possibly an issue and slightly more than that felt they could not examine themselves at home. Regional and rural patients were more accepting and positive about the Telehealth clinic visit. That cohort also repeatedly cited savings in travel time and ability to better partake while also completing their normal day to day activities. All participants had access to some form of telecommunication device with 63% having 3 or more devices to choose from.


The study demonstrates the feasibility of using telehealth appointments in the Head & Neck Surgical Oncology setting. This has benefits not only from a virus containment perspective but also in increasing accessibility for regional and rural patients.