UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Usability of Virtual Visits for the Routine Clinical Care of Trans Youth during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Youth and Caregiver Perspectives Silva, Carolina; Fung, Alex; Irvine, Michael A.; Ziabakhsh, Shabnam; Hursh, Brenden


We evaluated families’ perspectives on the usability of virtual visits for routine gender care for trans youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey, which included a validated telehealth usability questionnaire, was sent to families who had a virtual Gender Clinic visit between March and August 2020. A total of 87 participants completed the survey (28 trans youth, 59 caregivers). Overall, usability was rated highly, with mean scores between “quite a bit” and “completely” in all categories (usefulness, ease of use, interface and interaction quality, reliability, and satisfaction). Caregivers reported higher usability scores compared to trans youth [mean (SD) 3.43 (0.80) vs. 3.12 (0.93), p = 0.01]. All families felt that virtual visits provided for their healthcare needs. A total of 100% of youth and caregivers described virtual appointments as safer or as safe as in-person visits. A total of 94% of participants would like virtual visits after the pandemic; families would choose a mean of two virtual and one yearly in-person visit with a multidisciplinary team. Overall, virtual gender visits for trans youth had impressive usability. Participants perceived virtual visits to be safe. For the future, a combination of virtual and in-person multidisciplinary visits is the most desired model.

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