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Table 3 Participants’ reasons and types of use of email communication

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

Reasons and types of uses n (%)
Reasons for using email communication:
 To reassure the patient 130 (48.7)
 To reassure the doctor 29 (10.9)
 To improve the patient-doctor relationship 106 (39.7)
 To save time 57 (21.3)
 To avoid unnecessary consultations 119 (44.6)
 Othera 54 (20.2)
Discussion of confidentiality issues:
 Never 144 (53.9)
 1–25 % 30 (11.2)
 25–50 % 13 (4.9)
 50–75 % 6 (2.2)
 Always 59 (22.1)
Discussion of rules of use:
 No 170 (63.7)
 Number of emails 22 (8.2)
 Content of emails 34 (12.7)
 Delay to answer 55 (20.6)
Time of answer:
 Any time 138 (53.7)
 During the week but not on weekends 60 (23.3)
 Never in the evenings or on weekends 28 (10.9)
 Specific slots 18 (7.0)
 Other 13 (5.1)
Reimbursement of email communication:
 Never 162 (63.0)
 1–25 % 38 (14.8)
 25–50 % 19 (7.4)
 50–75 % 18 (7.0)
 Always 20 (7.8)
Documentation of email communication in the medical file:
 Never 27 (10.4)
 Rarely 26 (10.0)
 Occasionally 46 (17.8)
 Often 66 (25.5)
 Always 94 (36.3)
  1. aTravelling patient, chronic disease follow-up