Implementing Video Consultations in a Rural Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic: A Feasibility Study

Ali Abbas Shaker*, Stephen F. Austin, John Aasted Sørensen, Kristine Hæstrup Tarp, Henrik Bechmann, Erik Simonsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Introduction. Multiple efficacy studies have shown that treatment provided via video consultation (VC) can be equivalent to in-person (IP) consultation for people with psychiatric diagnoses. However, despite the great promise of VC, it has not been widely implemented in psychiatric outpatient services. This study investigated the feasibility aspects of VC in clinical practice and examined a range of factors associated with the implementation of this modality of treatment within psychiatric outpatient services. Methods. This study had a pragmatic design, where 40 consecutive referrals for people with anxiety, personality, or depressive disorders were given the choice to receive eight weekly treatment sessions via VC or IP modality within an outpatient psychiatric setting. Information on demand, acceptance, engagement, implementation, and potential negative effects for treatment conducted via VC were collected to help identify factors that may impact on the uptake of VC within the psychiatric outpatient service. Results. There was a high demand and acceptance for VC, with 44% (n = 15) of the patients choosing to receive eight weekly treatment sessions via VC, and acceptance was rated highly. Engagement with VC modality was good, with only a very small percentage (13%, n = 2) not completing treatment. A good level of working alliance was established and largely maintained throughout treatment for patients and case managers. There were differences in the utilization of VC compared to the IP modality, with the VC modality having a greater focus on supportive counseling and IP modality having a greater focus on psychotherapy. Overall, the duration of treatment conducted via VC was also slightly shorter than that of IP consultations. There were no negative effects registered for consultations via video. Conclusions. Findings suggest a high patient demand and acceptance for VC within psychiatric services, with good levels of engagement and alliance reported. Differences in focus and duration in VC compared to IP may reflect clinicians’ different attitudes and/or approaches to providing treatment, depending on whether it is VC or IP consultations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4282468
JournalPerspectives in Psychiatric Care
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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