JMIR Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated movement restrictions forced a rapid and massive transition to telepsychiatry to successfully maintain care continuity.
The aim of this study is to examine a large number of patients' experiences of, use of, and attitudes toward telepsychiatry.
An anonymous 11-question survey was delivered electronically to 14,000 patients receiving telepsychiatry care at 18 participating centers across 11 US states between the months of April and June 2020, including questions about their age and length of service use, as well as experience and satisfaction with telepsychiatry on a 5-point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze and report data.
In total, 3070 patients with different age ranges participated. The overall experience using telepsychiatry was either excellent or good for 1189 (82.2%) participants using video and 2312 (81.5%) using telephone. In addition, 1922 (63.6%) patients either agreed or strongly agreed that remote treatment sessions (telephone or video) have been just as helpful as in-person treatment. Lack of commute (n=1406, 46.1%) and flexible scheduling/rescheduling (n=1389, 45.5%) were frequently reported advantages of telepsychiatry, whereas missing the clinic/hospital (n=936, 30.7%) and not feeling as connected to their doctor/nurse/therapist (n=752, 24.6%) were the most frequently reported challenges. After the current pandemic resolves, 1937 (64.2%) respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that they would consider using remote treatment sessions in the future.
Telepsychiatry is very well perceived among a large sample of patients. After the current pandemic resolves, some patients may benefit from continued telepsychiatry, but longitudinal studies are needed to assess impact on clinical outcomes and determine whether patients' perceptions change over time.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health
Molecular Medicine; COVID-19 Publications