Remote psychotherapy for terminally ill cancer patients

J Telemed Telecare. 2005;11(3):157-9. doi: 10.1258/1357633053688741.


We conducted a feasibility study of remote psychotherapy in 10 terminally ill cancer patients with diagnoses of adjustment disorder or major depression. Subjects received six sessions of individual cognitive therapy with the same therapist. Sessions alternated between face-to-face sessions and remote sessions delivered by analogue videophone. After each therapy session, a brief questionnaire was used to evaluate the subjects' level of satisfaction with the session, sense of connectedness to the therapist and overall progress being made in the therapy. Nine patients completed the study. Of 53 completed therapy sessions, 21 were by videophone and 32 were conducted face to face. Participants reported strong positive perceptions and acceptance after almost all therapy sessions, regardless of service delivery mode. The study suggests that there may be a role for the delivery of psychotherapy using low-bandwidth videophones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / therapy*
  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Remote Consultation / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminally Ill / psychology