Telepsychiatry at DTAC – Alvin A. Weaver, Jr., M.S., D.Sc.
One aspect of the comprehensive COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan at DTAC is the expanded use of telepsychiatry. In this instance telepsychiatry refers to the use of communication technologies and platforms to provide psychiatric services from a distance. The concept seemed novel to some of our clients and families but telepsychiatry services have been around for over half a century!
Research has shown that videoconferencing based telepsychiatry is an empowering way to deliver services and it has promoted equality in accessing services. Patients have high levels of satisfaction with this service delivery method. At DTAC several our clients and families have expressed how much they like the telepsychiatry service. In addition, some teen clients report liking the technology better than face to face sessions.
Patients have a high level of satisfaction and they like the service, but is it effective? Research over the last fifty years indicates telepsychiatry assessments are reliable and the clinical interventions are comparable to conventional treatment among diverse patient populations, ages, and diagnostic groups, and on several measures.
Although telepsychiatry was expanded at DTAC as a part of the comprehensive Health and Safety Plan at DTAC, it was a welcomed change. Our staff would enjoy the opportunity to discuss our use of telepsychiatry with you!