To use or not to use : clinicians' perceptions of telemental health

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Journal titleCanadian Psychology
Pages4151; # of pages: 11
SubjectTelemental health; Technology; Attitudes; Client Characteristics; Videoconferencing
AbstractEqual access to mental health services is necessary for healthy individuals and communities. However, due to geographical distances and other barriers, some clients cannot easily access mental health professionals. Technologies such as videoconferencing for clinical purposes (i.e., telemental health) may help to bridge these gaps to connect clients and clinicians at geographically diverse locations. However, despite its potential utility, telemental health has not been widely adopted in Canada. This study is an exploratory investigation into mental health professionals’ attitudes toward telemental health, factors that affect the frequency with which they use this technology, and their perceptions of individual characteristics which make clients more or less suitable candidates for telemental health. This study has a particular focus on remote and rural and Operational Stress Injury (OSI) contexts. One hundred and sixty mental health workers across Canada participated in an online survey, and twenty-five mental health workers from Operational Stress Injury clinics across Canada participated in in-person interviews. The data were examined using qualitative and quantitative analysis methods. Findings suggest that mental health workers have overall positive attitudes toward the use of telemental health – particularly for clients in remote and rural locations. Additionally, receiving training in telemental health, being in the mental health field for longer, and perceiving the technology as easy to use are associated with more frequent use of telemental health. Finally, clinicians reported specific client characteristics which they perceive to make some clients unsuitable candidates for telemental health. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19709143
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Record identifier58cdbc25-916f-4971-86ca-9d52d5cc31c9
Record created2012-03-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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