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Survey of remote consultations in psychiatry during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak

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conference contribution
posted on 03.09.2021, 11:00 by Nusra Khodabux, Satheesh Gangadharan, Samuel Tromans, Avinash Hiremath
Aims
To compare the usage of remote consultations before and after the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and explore mental health workers’ views on the usage of telemedicine.

Method
An online questionnaire survey was developed, and disseminated to mental healthcare professionals via e-mail and social media. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data were analysed using Braun and Clarke's six step procedure for thematic analysis.1

Result
There were 40 responses from mental healthcare professionals of varying grades from different sub-specialties, predominantly from the UK. Compared to before the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, there was an increase in usage of telephone (9(22.5% to (29)72.5%) and video consultations (4(10%) to 17(42.5%)). Respondents reported an increase in virtual MDTs (35(87.5%) during the pandemic, 9(22.5%) pre-pandemic).

Based on a 5-point Likert scale, the mean technical quality of telephone consultations was 3.56/5 (Range 2-5), with 75% rating telephone consultations as not being as good as face-to-face consultations. The mean technical quality of video consultations was 3.58/5 (Range 2-5), with 63% rating video consultations as not being as good as face-to-face consultations. 25 (62.5%) respondents felt comfortable using telephone consultations during the pandemic, 20(50%) felt comfortable using video consultations. Recurring themes identified from the qualitative data regarding reasons for the technical quality ratings were: connection issues, poor infrastructure and security concerns.

Nine (23%) respondents felt that using video conferencing consultations had a detrimental impact on the mental health of patients while 14(35%) felt that telephone consultations had a detrimental impact on patients’ mental health. Recurring themes for health practitioners’ perceived effect of the use of telemedicine on patients’ mental heath were the loss of personal touch and reduced patient engagement.

Conclusion
There was a substantial increase in usage of remote consultations during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic among mental healthcare professionals. The results reported in the present study suggest there are numerous barriers to the use of telemedicine in psychiatry, which require future exploration, ideally through interview or ethnographic studies.

History

Citation

BJPsych Open , Volume 7 , Supplement S1: Abstracts of the RCPsych Virtual International Congress 2021, 21–24 June , June 2021 , pp. S264 - S265 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2021.704

Source

RCPsych Virtual International Congress 2021, 21–24 June

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

BJPSYCH OPEN

Volume

7

Issue

S1

Pagination

S264 - S265 (4)

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

issn

2056-4724

eissn

2056-4724

Copyright date

2021

Available date

03/09/2021

Language

en