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J Adolesc Health. 2006 Jun;38(6):643-8.

Telepsychiatry with incarcerated youth.

Author information

1
Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA. kathleen.myers@seattlechildrens.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Incarcerated adolescents have a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders but lack psychiatrists to provide ongoing care. Telepsychiatry may provide one solution to treating this underserved population.

METHODS:

Interactive video conferencing was used to connect a minimum security correctional facility with a regional telemedicine program. Clinical records were reviewed to examine utilization, demographics, diagnoses, pharmacotherapy, and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS:

During the 29-month study period, 115 youth were treated using 275 telepsychiatry visits. Substance-use, behavioral, and emotional disorders were highly prevalent. Eighty percent (80%) of the youth were successfully prescribed medications. Youth expressed confidence with the psychiatrist's recommendations but expressed concerns about privacy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Telepsychiatry can successfully deliver services to incarcerated adolescents with a wide range of psychiatric needs. A patient-centered approach that directly assesses adolescents' satisfaction is recommended to ensure youths' optimal involvement in needed services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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