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J Telemed Telecare. 2009;15(6):286-9. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2009.090305.

Telepsychiatry appointments in a continuing care setting: kept, cancelled and no-shows.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, Fresno Medical Education Program, Fresno, CA 93701, USA.


We reviewed the appointment data for a psychiatry service in California that provided consultations and also therapy through telepsychiatry. Over an 18-month period, there were 7523 telepsychiatry appointments and 115,148 conventional (face-to-face) appointments. A higher proportion of the telepsychiatry appointments was kept (92% telepsychiatry vs. 87% non-telepsychiatry). Also, telepsychiatry appointments were significantly less likely to be cancelled by patients (3.5% vs. 4.8%) and significantly less likely to be no-shows (4.2% vs. 7.8%). These findings were similar in three of the four counties where the service was delivered. However, one county was different, and further examination suggested that the morale of the staff and patients may have contributed to the unenthusiastic acceptance of telepsychiatry. We conclude that telepsychiatry can be used effectively in continuing care settings as well as in evaluation settings, and that staff and patient morale are important factors in successful telepsychiatry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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