Introduction: Interprofessional consultations (“eConsults”) can reduce healthcare utilization. However, the impact of eConsults on healthcare utilization remains poorly characterized among patients with headache. Methods: We performed a retrospective, 1:1 matched cohort study comparing patients evaluated for headache via eConsult request or in-person referral at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. Groups were matched on clinical and demographic characteristics. Our primary outcome was one or more outpatient headache-related encounters in 6 months following referral date. Secondary outcomes included one or more all-cause outpatient neurology and headache-related emergency department (ED) encounters during the same period. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression to model associations between independent variables and outcomes. Results: We identified 74 patients with headache eConsults who were matched to 74 patients with in-person referrals. Patients in the eConsult group were less likely to achieve the primary outcome (29.7% vs 62.2%, P < 0.0001) or have an all-cause outpatient neurology encounter (33.8% vs 79.7%, P < 0.0001) than patients in the comparison group. Both groups did not significantly differ by headache-related ED encounters. In multivariable analyses, patients in the eConsult group had significantly lower odds of having one or more headache-related or all-cause neurology encounters than patients in the comparison group (odds ratio (OR) 0.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.1–0.6; OR 0.1, 95% CI 0.1–0.3, respectively). Discussion: In comparison to in-person referrals, eConsult requests for headache were associated with reduced likelihood of outpatient neurology encounters in the short-term but not with differential use of headache-related ED encounters. Larger-scale, prospective studies should validate our findings and assess patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Asynchronous
  • health services research
  • healthcare cost
  • interprofessional consultation
  • migraine
  • telehealth


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