Objective: The purpose of this study is to review and discuss the status of telepsychiatry practice, particularly as applied to treating children and adolescents with psychotropic medications, which is termed "telepharmacotherapy."
Methods: The literature pertinent to telepsychiatry practice is reviewed, followed by a presentation of the challenges to implementing telepharmacotherapy, potential solutions, current controversies, and future directions, combining insights from the literature with the authors' own experiences.
Results: Telepsychiatry services for children and adolescents are expanding, and provide needed pharmacotherapy for patients who are underserved by available resources. The evidence base supporting the effectiveness of telepsychiatry practice and telepharmacotherapy is still emerging, and consists mainly of feasibility and satisfaction studies with limited outcome data. Although a number of challenges to this mode of care delivery currently exist, the authors outline potential solutions for those challenges that are consistent with existing guidelines for clinical practice.
Conclusions: Telepsychiatry appears to be a feasible and satisfactory alternative to in-person care, and a valid option for increasing access to psychopharmacotherapy for children and adolescents. Although the evidence base is still emerging, and practitioners may face a number of challenges, solutions are presented that may help to overcome those challenges.