Assessment of depressive symptoms during post-transplant follow-up care performed via telehealth

Telemed J E Health. 2009 Sep;15(7):700-6. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2009.0021.


Telehealth provides a successful medium for the treatment of depression and other mental health illnesses. Often, inadequate treatment for this condition is found in patients with chronic co-morbid conditions such as those presented by the transplant recipient, a population at risk for depression. One concern of healthcare providers is the inability to adequately screen for symptoms of depression. This secondary analysis describes depression screening of 138 transplant recipients receiving follow-up care via telehealth (TH) and standard care (SC) as part of a larger National Institute of Nursing Research-funded randomized clinical trial. Of subjects who consented, 70 (51%) were randomized to the TH portion of the study. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) survey at study entry and at 6 and 12 months postconsent into the study. Univariate and subgroup analyses using SAS found no differences between the TH (n = 70) and SC (n = 68) group for demographic and social characteristics. No differences in CES-D scores were found between TH and SC groups. The concern in adding distance in the care of this medically fragile population was not substantiated in this study.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tennessee / epidemiology
  • Time Factors