Mediated telemedicine vs. face-to-face medicine: efficiency in distress reduction

Almog Idan, Helene S. Wallach, Moshe Almagor, Yehezkel Waisman, Shai Linn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the not so distant future, the concept of “seeing” a physician might be quite extended. Telemedicine enables the fascinating synergy of technological improvements in the field of distant communication on the one hand, and the ongoing need to find cheaper but still effective ways to receive medical consultation for people living in rural areas, on the other hand. Thus, reducing the physical and social gap caused by geographical distances. The current study compared patients who received face-to-face (F2F) medical consultation (N $$=$$= 95), to patients who received a phone (AC) consultation (N $$=$$= 100), and patients who received camera (VC) consultation (N $$=$$= 97). All subjects filled out The international positive and negative affect schedule short form (I-PANAS-SF) before and after the consultation and the Biocca, Harms and Gregg questionnairefor social presence at the end of the consultation. Our findings demonstrate that telemedicine helps reduce distress as well as F2F counseling. The causes for this decrease differ between F2F, VC and AC consultations. In the phone group the decrease in distress is connected to the sense of receiving attention and being understood. In the camera group this decrease is connected to the sense that the physician is aware of their presence, and in the F2F group this decrease is connected to a sense of mutual emotional connection with the physician.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-339
Number of pages7
JournalJournal on Multimodal User Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, OpenInterface Association.


  • Distress
  • Social-presence
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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