Pilot Study of Televideo Psychiatric Assessments in an Underserviced Community

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Abstract

Objective

The goal of this study was to evaluate patient and physician acceptance of televideo interviews for general psychiatric assessments.

Method

DSM-III-R diagnoses for axes I and II were made for 40 patients by using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. The patients were then randomly assigned to face-to-face or televideo interviews for general psychiatric assessments conducted by psychiatrists. After each interview the patient and psychiatrist completed measures evaluating perceived rapport and level of satisfaction with the interview.

Results

The patients gave high ratings to both satisfaction and ability to develop rapport for both the televideo and face-to-face interviews. The psychiatrists expressed significantly less satisfaction with the televideo interviews, but their actual ratings were positive.

Conclusions

Despite geographic distance, televideo interviews allow a sense of connection between patient and psychiatrist. Lower-cost technology may increase the use of televideo to extend psychiatric service to geographically isolated communities.

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