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J Telemed Telecare. 1999;5 Suppl 1:S21-3.

An evaluation of an Australian videoconferencing project for child and adolescent telepsychiatry.

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Royal Children's Hospital Mental Service, Melbourne, Australia.


A user satisfaction survey of videoconferencing services for child and adolescent mental health was carried out over a two-year period in Victoria, Australia. The aims of the survey were to evaluate key utilization areas, effect on professional practice, and advantages and disadvantages of the videoconferencing service. Eighty questionnaires were sent out and 58 (73%) were returned. Consultations were reported as the most frequent use of videoconferencing equipment (62%), followed by clinical use (59%), supervision (36%), teaching (19%) and administration (14%). Fifty-seven per cent of respondents reported that videoconferencing had affected professional practice. Advantages of the services included cost savings (52%) while disadvantages included technological problems (40%). The findings show the benefits of videoconferencing for improving the delivery of mental health care in rural Australia.

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