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J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12(5):251-4.

Client acceptability and quality of life--telepsychiatry compared to in-person consultation.

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Alberta Mental Health Board, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


We evaluated client satisfaction and one-month mental health outcomes for telepsychiatry clients compared with those undergoing a face-to-face psychiatric consultation. Clients were asked to complete an SF-12 health survey before the consultation, a satisfaction survey after the consultation, and were contacted for a one-month follow-up SF-12 survey by telephone. Forty-eight of the 62 initial responders (77%) were available for contact by telephone after one month. Telepsychiatry clients demonstrated significant improvements on pre- and post-SF-12 mental health measures (t = 3.7; P = 0.001), while there was no change for the in-person group (t = 1.0; P = 0.35). Telepsychiatry clients felt that they could present the same information as in person (93%), were satisfied with their session (96%), and were comfortable in their ability to talk (85%); this was similar to the in-person clients. They reflected slightly lower levels of satisfaction regarding feeling supported and encouraged than did the in-person clients. Both telepsychiatry clients and traditional face-to-face psychiatry clients were satisfied with their experience of mental health care service provision, and mental health improvements were evident in the telepsychiatry patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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