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What is telepsychiatry? Benefits and efficacy

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Telepsychiatry is a technique that employs a telecommunications equipment to deliver psychiatric services to people who live far away from a psychiatrist or who prefer to be at home.

Telepsychiatry may provide a number of advantages, including more ease and accessibility.

The advantages and disadvantages of telepsychiatry are discussed in this article.

Definition

telepsychiatry

Telepsychiatry is a telemedicine subspecialty.

Telemedicine is a type of healthcare delivery that uses video-based technology to provide a variety of services to patients.

Psychiatrists can communicate with patients directly over the phone or via video conferencing using telepsychiatry. Some people choose to have their medical information recorded.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), telepsychiatry can encompass the following services:

  • client education
  • medication management
  • individual therapy
  • psychiatric evaluations and diagnoses
  • group therapy
  • family therapy

Is it effective?

For many people, telepsychiatry can be a viable alternative to traditional in-person psychiatric services.

Telemedicine, according to research, is a cost-effective and effective method of increasing client access to doctors.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there is considerable evidence that telepsychiatry can result in improved outcomes and high client satisfaction ratings.

They also claim that telepsychiatry is comparable to in-person care in the following ways:

  • the accuracy of diagnosis
  • the effectiveness of treatment
  • the quality of care
  • client privacy and confidentiality

Telepsychiatry has been shown to be effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also effective and tolerable in the treatment of depression, according to studies.

Telepsychiatry is also a successful therapy option for:

According to a review published in 2016, the majority of the research included confirmed that telepsychiatry was a viable and acceptable treatment option for people of all ages.

Benefits

Telepsychiatry has the advantage of being a realistic and cost-effective alternative to in-person psychiatric services.

It’s appropriate for people of all ages, including kids, teenagers, and adults. Telepsychiatry may be preferable to face-to-face treatment for some people, such as autistic people and those with severe anxiety problems.

Other advantages could include:

Accessibility and convenience

Telepsychiatry is a therapeutic option for psychiatrists who need to treat patients in rural or remote locations.

If clients are unable to travel, it can give an easier option for them to get psychiatric services.

It might also mean that you don’t need to take as much time off from job or school.

Care of high quality

Clients and providers alike express high levels of satisfaction with telepsychiatry, according to a 2016 study. Parents and caregivers seeking psychiatric services for their children appear to be particularly satisfied, according to the survey.

According to the same analysis, telepsychiatry appears to be more successful than standard care.

Some people may feel more comfortable opening up in the privacy of their own home.

Cost

Telepsychiatry, according to a 2016 report, can be cost effective.

In comparison to face-to-face treatment, telepsychiatry saves indirect and direct expenditures, according to the paper.

How does it work, and where can a person use it?

Telepsychiatry works in the same way as in-person appointments do.

A person should seek medical help from a nearby clinic or a doctor. They’ll be referred to a psychiatrist after that.

By contacting the psychiatrist who provides the service, the clinic, doctor, or client can schedule the initial telepsychiatry appointment.

The client can log in to the proper video conferencing platform and wait for the psychiatrist to come online once they have an appointment time. Alternatively, they could wait for a call.

Clients should make sure they have all essential records and information on hand, including prescription details. They should also write down any questions or concerns they have.

In-person and telepsychiatry appointments both follow the same criteria and are often formatted in the same way. The psychiatrist and their patient will talk about the issues and goals that are important to them.

The psychiatrist may be able to:

  • create and implement treatment plans
  • prescribe medication
  • schedule follow-up appointments
  • refer the client to other services

Telepsychiatric services are available in a variety of locations, including:

  • mental health centers
  • nursing homes
  • primary care centers
  • prisons
  • residential treatment facilities
  • schools

Is it covered by insurance?

Before booking a telepsychiatry session, people should check with their insurance provider.

The APA provides a map showing the 32 states that have passed legislation allowing for private telemedicine insurance. They also recommend that Medicaid reimbursement plans in 48 states cover some telepsychiatric services.

What to look for in a provider

People should think about the service provider attentively. They should talk to their primary care physician about it.

When looking for a supplier, there are a few things to think about:

  • licensure or credentialing
  • education and training in the field
  • supervision

People should also strive to learn more about the fees and whether telepsychiatry is covered by their insurance.\

Online treatment vs. online telepsychiatry

Telepsychiatry is provided by psychiatrists, whereas internet treatment and counselling is provided by psychologists and psychotherapists.

Both strategies entail direct contact between the client and a therapist or psychiatrist.

Psychiatrists are medical specialists who can diagnose illnesses and, if necessary, provide medication.

Psychologists, therapists, and counsellors aren’t doctors, thus they can’t give you medicine. However, some advanced practise registered nurses are mental health specialists who can write drug prescriptions.

However, a mental health condition can be diagnosed by a psychologist. Psychiatrists can collaborate with them. Therapists can also diagnose mental illnesses, although they are unable to conduct psychological assessments.

Conclusion

Telepsychiatry is a type of telemedicine that provides psychiatric services via phone or video conferencing.

Telepsychiatry practitioners can examine and diagnose, give therapy, and prescribe medication just like in-person psychiatric treatment.

Telepsychiatry appears to be equally as successful as in-person treatment, and for some people, it may even be preferable.

Anyone interested in learning more about telepsychiatry should contact their doctor or psychiatrist.

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4744872/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4582305/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3709879/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661519/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/telepsychiatry
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4919267/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3574452/
  • https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/telepsychiatry
  • https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-telepsychiatry