IETF Changes Direction on Education and Outreach Programs Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted on July 9, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has prompted the International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) to re-evaluate its education and outreach programs. The main goal of these programs has always been to provide support and information to the essential tremor (ET) community, but now the top priority is to ensure the health and safety of the ET community while providing these services.

To gather input from patrons of the IETF, an online 2020 ET Education Survey was developed and distributed. More than 1,800 responses were received. Here’s an overview of the responses:

When asked if they would be comfortable attending an ET education event in person in 2020, 42 percent of respondents said no, and 21 percent said yes. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they would only attend if social distancing practices were in place.

The survey also gauged respondents comfort levels with participating in virtual events via Zoom. More than 52 percent said yes, while only 11 percent said no. Thirty-six percent said they would prefer to listen to a recording of a Zoom event, as opposed to taking part live.

Based on this feedback, the IETF is moving forward with planning for virtual events via zoom. The events will feature interviews and presentations from top neurologists across the country. A podcast series is also in the works to provide another venue for communicating ET research, treatment, diagnostic techniques and more.

“Our goal is to continue doing the work we have been doing for more than 30 years – to provide support for the essential tremor community, worldwide, through awareness, education, support and research,” said Patrick McCartney, IETF executive director. “We are cognizant of the challenges everyone is facing with this pandemic and we want to assure them that we are still here to support them. Our work has not stopped.”

IETF patrons are encouraged to watch for more details about upcoming programs via the Tremor Gram newsletter, Tremor Talk magazine, the IETF website ( and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Questions? Send them to