Remote Orthopedic Outpatient Consultation by Help of Telemedicine


Patients from 4 local communities in northern Norway referred (either new or follow up) to orthopaedic department, University hospital of Northern Norway for outpatient consultation, are randomly assigned to either remote consultation by use of telemedicine (camera and screen), or standard consultation at the hospital. There are x-ray facilities also at the remote site. The patients randomized to telemedicine consultation meet special trained nurses at the remote site, but doctor only by video conference. The patients will be followed for up to one year. The primary endpoint is quality of care achieved with the telemedicine consultation as compared to standard outpatient consultation (assessed by questionnaires filled out by the doctor involved). Secondary end points are patient satisfaction assessed by questionnaires and economic analyses. The study hypothesis is non-inferiority of telemedicine consultation vs. conventional, outpatient consultation.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: October 2012


  • Other: Telemedicine consultation
    • Outpatient consultation by help of telemedicine (video conference)
  • Other: Standard care in orthopaedic outpatient clinic
    • Standard care in orthopedic outpatient clinic (usual care)

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Standard consultation
    • Standard care in orthopaedic outpatient clinic
  • Experimental: Telemedicine consultation
    • Orthopaedic care in outpatient clinic by use of telemedicine.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Safety and quality of health care
    • Time Frame: 1 year

Secondary Measures

  • Patient satisfaction
    • Time Frame: up to 1 year after last consultation
    • Patient satisfaction will be measured based on a total score calculated on the basis of responses to satisfaction questionnaire. Questionnaires will be filled out at each visit/consultation and at 3 months or one year after last consultation.
  • Cost value
    • Time Frame: up to 1 year
    • Travel expenses, escort expenses, equipment and other costs related to patient consultation

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Informed consent given
  • New referred patients to orthopaedic department (outpatient), UNN, for conditions suitable for telemedicine consultation
  • Follow up consultation of trauma patients (operated/not operated)
  • Follow up consultation after elective orthopaedic surgery (e.g hip prothesis)
  • Follow up of other orthopaedic patients

Exclusion Criteria

  • Senile dementia
  • Soldiers, prisoners
  • Patients not talking Norwegian, dependent on translator
  • If specialized procedures are required during follow up (e.g. cat-scan, ultrasound etc)
  • Patients requiring a specific doctor

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: N/A

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University Hospital of North Norway
  • Collaborator
    • Helse Nord
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Astrid S Buvik, MD, Principal Investigator, University Hospital North Norway
    • Arvid Smaabrekke, MD, Study Chair, University Hospital North Norway
    • Jan Abel Olsen, PhD, Study Chair, University of Tromso
    • Tom Wilsgaard, PhD, Study Director, University of Tromso, Norway
    • Gunnar Knutsen, MD, PhD, Study Chair, University Hospital NorthNorway

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