Telepsychiatry: Promise, Potential, and Challenges

By Malhotra, Savita; Chakrabarti, Subho et al. | Indian Journal of Psychiatry, January-March 2013 | Go to article overview

Telepsychiatry: Promise, Potential, and Challenges


Malhotra, Savita, Chakrabarti, Subho, Shah, Ruchita, Indian Journal of Psychiatry


Byline: Savita. Malhotra, Subho. Chakrabarti, Ruchita. Shah

Despite the high prevalence and potentially disabling consequences of mental disorders, specialized mental health services are extremely deficient, leading to the so-called 'Mental Health Gap'. Moreover, the services are concentrated in the urban areas, further worsening the rural-urban and tertiary primary care divide. Strengthening of and expanding the existing human resources and infrastructure, and integrating mental health into primary care appear to be the two major solutions. However, both the strategies are riddled with logistic difficulties and have a long gestation period. In such a scenario, telepsychiatry or e-mental health, defined as the use of information and communication technology to provide or support psychiatric services across distances, appears to be a promising answer. Due to its enormous potential, a review of the existing literature becomes imperative. An extensive search of literature was carried out and has been presented to delineate the modes of communication, acceptability and satisfaction, reliability, outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and legal and ethical challenges related to telepsychiatry. Telepsychiatry has been applied for direct patient care (diagnosis and management), consultation, and training, education, and research purposes. Both real-time, live interaction (synchronous) and store-forward (asynchronous) types of technologies have been used for these purposes. A growing amount of literature shows that training, supervision, and consultation by specialists to primary care physicians through telepsychiatry has several advantages. In this background, we have further focused on the models of telepsychiatry best suited for India, considering that mental health care can be integrated into primary care and taken to the doorstep of patients in the community.

Introduction

Information and communication technology (ICT) has percolated into various aspects of life through its varied applications; education, banking, business management, to name a few of these areas. Over the last couple of decades, advancements in ICT have been aptly utilized in the field of health care also, for example, maintenance of electronic medical records. Another and probably more promising application of ICT is its use for delivery of health care to remote and inaccessible areas - telemedicine. Telemedicine is defined as the practice of medical care using interactive audio, visual, and data communications. [sup][1] All over the globe including both developed and developing nations, various programs for health care delivery and education through telemedicine have been implemented. These programs cover various disciplines of medicine such as radiology, dermatology, pathology, systemic medicine, ophthalmology, and psychiatry. Some are focused on home-based care for specific disorders such as diabetes, cardiac conditions, etc., Of these, telepsychiatry is considered as the most active application of telemedicine in the Western world. [sup][2] However, in the developing nations, telepsychiatry is still in its infancy stage and exists more as an off-shoot of telemedicine, rather than an independent service. The field of psychiatry is unique when compared to other specialties of medicine, as human interaction and client-therapist relations are integral to its practice. Hence, whether or not psychiatry renders itself to this mode of service delivery (tele-services) has been highly debated.

Telepsychiatry, also termed as telemental health or E-mental health, is broadly defined as the use of ICT to provide or support psychiatric services across distances. The use of technology in the mental health field has been noted sporadically since the sixth decade of the last century; for example, use of closed circuit, two-way television for routine clinical and educational purposes, [sup][3],[4],[5] use of telephone to provide emergency care, etc. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Telepsychiatry: Promise, Potential, and Challenges
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.