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Discipline-level differences in mental health provider perceptions of video and phone telehealth.

Connolly SL, Charness ME, Gifford AL, Miller CJ. Discipline-level differences in mental health provider perceptions of video and phone telehealth. Psychological Services. 2023 Jul 13.

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COVID-19 led to a rapid increase in telemental health care via video or phone. It is important to examine contributors to the choice of video versus phone, as video may be more effective and preferred by patients. Medical mental health (MH) providers (e.g., psychiatrists) may conduct more phone and less video visits than nonmedical MH providers (e.g., psychologists). This study examined whether medical and nonmedical providers'' perceptions of the quality and complexity of phone and video MH care may contribute to differences in use. A 32-item survey of 414 providers (79.5% response rate) assessed perceptions of care quality, factors contributing to modality choice, and telehealth challenges. The types of visits completed by providers in the months prior to the survey were extracted from administrative data. Medical and nonmedical providers generally viewed video care as higher quality and more preferred than phone, although to a lesser extent among medical providers. Nonmedical providers'' decision making was more impacted by research regarding the modalities'' relative effectiveness. Medical providers more frequently endorsed video challenges, including patient technical difficulties and lack of patient training. Administrative data demonstrated that medical providers conducted fewer video appointments than nonmedical providers. Medical providers may be less aware of research demonstrating that video care is effective and preferred by patients, and the complexity of video visits may be a barrier to use. Streamlining video processes, increasing technical support, and disseminating research that compares the quality of video and phone care may increase video use among medical providers. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

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