Client acceptability and quality of life--telepsychiatry compared to in-person consultation

J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12(5):251-4. doi: 10.1258/135763306777889028.


We evaluated client satisfaction and one-month mental health outcomes for telepsychiatry clients compared with those undergoing a face-to-face psychiatric consultation. Clients were asked to complete an SF-12 health survey before the consultation, a satisfaction survey after the consultation, and were contacted for a one-month follow-up SF-12 survey by telephone. Forty-eight of the 62 initial responders (77%) were available for contact by telephone after one month. Telepsychiatry clients demonstrated significant improvements on pre- and post-SF-12 mental health measures (t = 3.7; P = 0.001), while there was no change for the in-person group (t = 1.0; P = 0.35). Telepsychiatry clients felt that they could present the same information as in person (93%), were satisfied with their session (96%), and were comfortable in their ability to talk (85%); this was similar to the in-person clients. They reflected slightly lower levels of satisfaction regarding feeling supported and encouraged than did the in-person clients. Both telepsychiatry clients and traditional face-to-face psychiatry clients were satisfied with their experience of mental health care service provision, and mental health improvements were evident in the telepsychiatry patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychotherapy* / methods
  • Psychotherapy* / standards
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Remote Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Videoconferencing*