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Table 4 Free text examples of perceived advantages and disadvantage of telemedicine consultations

From: Young people's views on the potential use of telemedicine consultations for sexual health: results of a national survey

Advantages of telephone consultations
i. Patients can remain anonymous
"By communicating over the phone i'd probably be more willing to discuss private details and be able to feel somewhat anonymous." (Female, aged 23)
ii. Telephone consultations are less embarrassing and more convenient than in-person consultations
"Over the phone is far less embarrassing." (Female, aged 20)
"Telephone consults would help a lot, especially if there was a short waiting time. I hate GP waiting rooms." (Male, aged 21)
iii. Time saving
"The idea of communicating from home would in many cases be easier- no travel, less time wasted." (Female, aged 24)
Disadvantages of telephone consultations
i. Difficulty verifying the doctor's credentials and the potential for eavesdropping
"Over the phone is probably a less appealing option because you dont [sic] know who exactly you are talking to, or if others are listening in." (Male, aged 19)
Advantages of webcam consultations
i. Enables face-to-face engagement with the doctor
I would be much more comfortable with a webcam than over the phone as there's much more of a sense of face-to-face contact. (Female, aged 20)
"Great idea. Confort [sic] of your own home, but you would be able to see that the doctor is in their office in a confidential environment." (Female, aged 21)
ii. No need to travel to a clinic
"I think [a webcam consultation is] a great idea, it would save people having to make the trip to the medical centre." (Female, aged 18)
Disadvantages of webcam consultations
i. Privacy and security concerns
"The reason I would feel uncomfortable about using a webcam would be that I would fear someone could hack into my computer and access the chat between my GP and I. Obviously for confidentiality reasons this would be disasterous [sic]." (Female, aged 24)
"I would be concerned about the retention of webcam data. The Doctor would need to have a policy about this. Preferable [sic] the policy would be never keep [sic] any permanent record of any data ever. If enough of this data exists it is inevitable that some of it will be misplaced or stolen at some point." (Male, aged 23)
ii. Viewing webcam consultations as unnecessary
"I don't see the point of using a webcam - if it's something that can be discussed at a distance, then the telephone should suffice. If it's something that needs to be done with visual interaction, surely it should be done in person." (Female, aged 23)