The Role of Telemedicine in Addressing Mental Health Issues
The past few years have brought many challenges due to the pandemic, and it has greatly impacted the mental health of the population worldwide. People with existing mental illnesses have experienced even greater effects, and healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly to provide care under difficult circumstances have also faced added stress. Students have had to adapt to online classes, and employees have faced risks due to the economic fallout from the pandemic. Those who have lost loved ones have also been emotionally affected. Due to these and other factors, the need for mental health and psychosocial support is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.
Imbalance in Mental Health Care
Imbalances in mental health care exist, as many people around the world suffer from various mental health problems but only a small percentage receive proper treatment. Most people are reluctant to seek help and often drop out once treatment begins. In fact, only 50% of homebound elderly patients with depression receive adequate care for their psychiatric problems. Lack of financial resources, a limited provider base in certain specialties, physical disability, transportation difficulties, and a lack of caregiver support all contribute to treatment gaps. Telemedicine platforms using phones or home video platforms have the potential to break down these barriers and provide easy access to telehealth services.
Role of Telemedicine in Mental Health Care
Patients who need mental health care are unable to access it when they need it or, out of fear, choose not to seek treatment. Enter telemedicine. Online counseling is as effective or even more effective than traditional face-to-face therapies. Telemedicine provides access to more mental health professionals, especially during this difficult time when people need them more than ever before. Patients can now connect with mental health professionals of their choice any time anywhere. Additionally, for some patients with anxiety, OCD, and PTSD, visiting hospitals and clinics can make them feel even more anxious, triggering unwanted emotions and thoughts. Telemedicine offers more privacy and treatment without causing a sense of insecurity.
- Telehealth Solution
Telehealth has been shown to be a potential solution to inequalities in mental health care, and it has demonstrated significant benefits in a wide range of medical and psychiatric populations. It removes geographic barriers to care and enables the centralization of services, allowing providers to offer specialized mental health care to long-distance individuals. Research suggests that telemedicine home treatment is beneficial for depression and anxiety, with significantly lower failure rates than face-to-face psychotherapy. Studies have found that telephone-based CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) was more effective than regular treatment (such as antidepressants) in the long-term treatment of depression in primary care. Specifically, when compared to usual clinical care, teletherapy (symptom monitoring and support) and telephonic CBT resulted in longer depression-free days. Telemedicine-based collaborative care clinic models for depression in local, state-accredited health centers have also been associated with greater reductions in symptoms of depression compared to practice-based collaborative care. It’s important to note that therapeutic alliance (e.g., quality of the therapist-client relationship) and adherence (e.g., adherence to evidence-based treatment protocols) are important predictors of treatment outcome in telemedicine, just as they are in face-to-face treatment.
- Advantages of Telehealth in Treating Mental Issues
Telemedicine allows mental health professionals to care for both existing and new patients anytime and anywhere. Providing online consultations to patients through convenient and accessible virtual contacts increases patient satisfaction as patients suffering from anxiety, OCD, and PTSD need not travel to the clinic and can instead schedule more time for treatment sessions.
A consistent treatment is a successful treatment. Patients with depression and anxiety need constant support for a healthier state of mind. Telemedicine offers flexibility in timing for both doctors and patients, so doctors can offer these treatment sessions more frequently.
Treatment delivered through telemedicine is comparable to face-to-face care in terms of accurate diagnosis and effective treatment sessions. Through telemedicine, doctors are addressing some of the issues patients with anxiety disorder, phobia, or depression face during in-person visits, including feelings of shyness or discomfort going out in public, nervousness, etc.
Telemedicine makes medical practice more flexible. Mental health professionals are expanding face-to-face consultations by embracing telemedicine. Providers have the opportunity to help more patients with mental issues in need by reducing the risk of cancelled appointments due to hinderances such as panic attacks, anxiety or fear during social situations, fear of interacting, and lack of transportation to clinics.
Security and Privacy
Unlike face-to-face consultations, telemedicine solutions provide a more honest and open environment for patients to share their minds with their providers. It is important that the patient feel safe and secure knowing that the confidential information they share with professionals will not leak outside the clinic. We DrCare247, best believe that patient privacy is emphasized in all circumstances. We ensure that the data provided during or after a consultation is securely stored and encrypted on our servers. It can be accessed only by authorized doctors and patients.
Telemedicine can play a vital role in addressing common mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and stress. It offers convenience, accessibility, and privacy for patients seeking mental health care, and it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of various mental health conditions. As we continue to navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic, telemedicine offers a valuable solution for ensuring that people have access to the mental health care they need. At DrCare247, we customize your telehealth software platform with functionalities to improve your telemedicine practice and provide better patient care.