Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Patient and Provider Experience of Electronic Patient Portals and Secure Messaging in Mental Health Treatment.

Turvey CL, Fuhrmeister LA, Klein DM, Moeckli J, Howren MB, Chasco EE. Patient and Provider Experience of Electronic Patient Portals and Secure Messaging in Mental Health Treatment. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2022 Feb 1; 28(2):189-198.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Electronic health record patient portals were promoted to enhance patient engagement. However, organizations often deny patient access to records of treatment for mental health disorders. This study explores patient and provider experience of patient electronic access to the mental health treatment record and the use of secure messaging. Online surveys of a sample of mental health patients (? = 168) and providers (? = 80) addressed their experience using patient portals and secure messaging. Only 29 of the 80 providers (36%) worked at organizations which provided patients electronic access to mental health records. Of these 29 providers, 72% endorsed that patients requested a change in the provider note, 69% endorsed patients asked more questions, 55% endorsed patients reported they experienced significant distress after accessing portal, and 21% reported patients engaged in negative and/or self-destructive behavior toward themselves or others. Of patients with access to mental health notes (? = 37), 86% endorsed that they gained a better understanding of what was discussed in the appointment, 84% trusted their health care provider more, 76% felt comforted or relieved after reading their health information, and 57% reported they were better able to take medications as prescribed. Both patients and providers enjoyed the efficiency of secure messaging. Open-text responses are also presented. The implementation of electronic access to mental health notes requires a transition from viewing the medical record as the exclusive tool of providers to that of a collaborative tool for patients and providers to achieve treatment goals.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.