Current Directions in Videoconferencing Tele-Mental Health Research

Clin Psychol (New York). 2009 Sep 1;16(3):323-338. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2850.2009.01170.x.


The provision of mental health services via videoconferencing tele-mental health has become an increasingly routine component of mental health service delivery throughout the world. Emphasizing the research literature since 2003, we examine: 1) the extent to which the field of tele-mental health has advanced the research agenda previously suggested; and 2) implications for tele-mental health care delivery for special clinical populations. Previous findings have demonstrated that tele-mental health services are satisfactory to patients, improve outcomes, and are probably cost effective. In the very small number of randomized controlled studies that have been conducted to date, tele-mental health has demonstrated equivalent efficacy compared to face-to-face care in a variety of clinical settings and with specific patient populations. However, methodologically flawed or limited research studies are the norm, and thus the research agenda for tele-mental health has not been fully maximized. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.