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Telemed J. 1998 Winter;4(4):363-9.

Patient satisfaction with telemedicine consultation in primary care: comparison of ratings of medical and mental health applications.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine and Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, University of California at Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, California 95817, USA.



To assess the viability of telemedicine as a vehicle for offering mental health consultations to primary-care patients.


Satisfaction ratings from 34 mental health encounters were compared with ratings from a convenience sample of 59 non-mental health encounters on four aspects of satisfaction: self-reported ability to speak freely; probability of further use of telemedicine; perceived experience of telemedicine personnel; and relative preference for a telemedicine visit compared with a face-to-face visit. The study was conducted in the context of the Telemedicine Program at the University of California, Davis.


No significant differences in satisfaction were found between mental health and non-mental health encounter groups for any of the four aspects of satisfaction.


Ratings from patients receiving mental health consultation using telemedicine yielded levels of satisfaction similar to those found in telemedicine consultations in non-mental health medical areas. The results support telemedicine as a means to extend mental health consultation to rural primary-care patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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