Low Adoption of Video Consultations in Post-COVID-19 General Practice in Northern Europe: Barriers to Use and Potential Action Points

Elisabeth Assing Hvidt*, Helen Atherton, Jelle Keuper, Eli Kristiansen, Elle Christine Lüchau, Børge Lønnebakke Norberg, Jost Steinhäuser, Johannes van den Heuvel, Lilian van Tuyl

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, video consultation was introduced in general practice in many countries around the world as a solution to provide remote health care to patients. It was assumed that video consultation would find widespread adoption in post-COVID-19 general practice. However, adoption rates remain low across countries in Northern Europe, suggesting that barriers to its use exist among general practitioners and other practice staff. In this viewpoint, we take a comparative approach, reflecting on similarities and differences in implementation conditions of video consultations in 5 Northern European countries' general practice settings that might have created barriers to its use within general practice. We convened at a cross-disciplinary seminar in May 2022 with researchers and clinicians from 5 Northern European countries with expertise in digital care in general practice, and this viewpoint emerged out of dialogues from that seminar. We have reflected on barriers across general practice settings in our countries, such as lacking technological and financial support for general practitioners, that we feel are critical for adoption of video consultation in the coming years. Furthermore, there is a need to further investigate the contribution of cultural elements, such as professional norms and values, to adoption. This viewpoint may inform policy work to ensure that a sustainable level of video consultation use can be reached in the future, one that reflects the reality of general practice settings rather than policy optimism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere47173
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Pages (from-to)e47173
Publication statusPublished - 2023

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-02 Public Health, Health Services Research and Social Medicine
  • 109-04 Educational Research on Socialization and Professionalism

Coronavirus related work

  • Research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19

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