BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the widespread adoption of video calling. A parallel growth in aesthetic surgery demand has been documented.
OBJECTIVES: To identify associations between video call engagement and aesthetic surgery attitudes.
METHODS: We distributed a cross-sectional survey via Amazon Mechanical Turk in November 2020. Respondents were asked to report their time spent video calling, video calling applications and features (eg, virtual backgrounds) they used, and aesthetic surgery attitudes using the 15-item Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scale (ACSS; higher scores indicate greater acceptance). We compared ACSS scores between video call users and non-users using Student’s t-tests. We used Pearson’s correlation coefficient to quantify associations between ACSS scores and time spent on calls and multivariable analysis to estimate associations between video call engagement and ACSS scores.
RESULTS: A total of 295 respondents (mean age, 37.6; 49.5% female) completed the survey. Across all video call applications surveyed, video call users had higher ACSS scores than non-users. Increased time respondents spent looking at their own face on video call was moderately associated with higher ACSS scores (r=0.48, P<0.01), while time spent looking at another person’s face was not associated with a change in ACSS scores (r=0.09, P=0.11). Increased video call use was associated with higher ACSS scores.
CONCLUSIONS: Increased video calling use is associated with increased acceptance of aesthetic surgery. Although the clinical significance of ACSS scores can be better elucidated, plastic surgeons should consider the effects of video calling on patient motivations for aesthetic surgery in the COVID-19 era.