Telepsychiatry for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychiatric Conditions

January 19, 2009 | Evidence Reports


Telepsychiatry involves the practice of psychiatry through videoconferencing. Some psychiatric patients live too far from the nearest psychiatrist to receive face-to-face care, and telepsychiatry may enable remote care that would otherwise not be performed at all. In patients who are receiving care, the introduction of telepsychiatry offers the potential for reduced costs and higher convenience, primarily via reduced need for travel.

Two care settings apply to telepsychiatry: where the psychiatrist is located, and where the patient is located. Both locations must have videoconferencing systems. Some studies have reported the use of telepsychiatry in prison settings.

Numerous indications and contraindications have been proposed. A 2006 Canadian guideline listed indications ranging from initial patient assessment to therapeutic management. Contraindications included (among others) immediate suicide risks and those...

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