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Table 2 Frequency of use, topics, advantages and disadvantages of email, cell phone and text message communication reported by participants

From: Use of email, cell phone and text message between patients and primary-care physicians: cross-sectional study in a French-speaking part of Switzerland

  Email (n = 266) Cell phone number (n = 226) Text message (N = 226)
n (%) n (%) n (%)
Giving access to:
 1–25 % 163 (61) 163 (72.1) Giving access to cell phone number includes text messages.
 25–50 % 21 (7.9) 15 (6.6)
 50–75 % 3 (1.1) 7 (3.1)
  > 75 % 7 (2.6) 41 (18.1)
 All (appointment e-mail address indicated on the appointment card) 72 (27.0) NA
Use initiated by:
 Physician 60 (22.8) 155 (69.2) 79 (47.6)
 Patient 101 (38.4) 22 (9.8) 35 (21.1)
 Both 103 (38.8) 47 (21.0) 52 (31.3)
Topics:
 Change of appointment 192 (71.9) 55 (24.3) 60 (26.5)
 Test results 71 (26.6) 138 (61.1) 77 (34.1)
 Follow-up of patient’s health 132 (49.4) 187 (82.7) 107 (47.3)
 Patients’ questions 219 (82.0) 124 (54.9) 88 (38.9)
 Othera 39 (14.7 %) 25 (11.1) 14 (6.2)
Advantages:
 Time saving 119 (44.6) 94 (41.6) 94 (41.6)
 Less consultations 104 (39.0) 105 (46.5) 50 (22.1)
 Improved follow-up 95 (35.6) 148 (65.5) 81 (35.8)
 Improved relationship 129 (48.3) 142 (62.8) 85 (37.6)
 Otherb 41 (15.4 %) 25 (11.1) 22 (9.7)
Disadvantages:
 Misuse 86 (32.2) 89 (39.4) 56 (24.8)
 Encroachment on private life 85 (31.8) 131 (58.0) 90 (39.8)
 Misunderstanding 44 (16.5) 27 (11.9) 35 (15.5)
 Waste of time 61 (22.8) 27 (11.9) 23 (10.2)
 No billing 81 (30.3) 54 (23.9) 45 (19.9)
 Otherc 35 (13.2 %) 21 (9.3) 15 (6.6)
  1. aOther: medication prescription, provision of information
  2. bLess anxiety, no advantages
  3. cNo disadvantages, impatience