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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2000 Feb;54(1):55-8.

Application of telepsychiatry: a preliminary study.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.


Telemedicine is the provision of professional medical services from sites removed from the patient. This study was conducted in order to assess the reliability of psychiatric evaluations via video-consultation. The inter-rater reliability was determined for each interviewing condition by employing the reliability-testing paradigm in which the brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS) and the interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) are used. The inter-rater reliability scores between face-to-face interviews and interviews conducted by video at two different levels of image qualities were compared by the authors. Reliability was found to be in perfect agreement in each of the interviewing conditions. This study verifies that telepsychiatry is a reliable method of assessing patient conditions. It may be used to provide much needed mental health-care services to patients whose access to them is restricted.

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