Telemental health

What is telemental health? 

There is a growing need to deliver low-cost treatments tailored to individual needs and delivered in a continuous way (e.g. all year long) from any location. Telemental health (or “ehealth”) has the potential to meet this need. Telemental health refers to any mental health treatment that is provided electronically, either by telephone or internet such as online health programs, or video conferencing. This type of intervention involves structured counselling and generally aims to increase medication adherence and prevent relapse. Importantly, it also removes geographic barriers to care.

What is the evidence for telemental interventions?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds small effects of increased quality of life and decreased symptoms with social media interventions. However social support and self-management ratings were decreased. Moderate quality evidence finds a large effect of increased medication adherence with telemental medication management compared to standard care, pill counting, or early warning signs of relapse checklist. There was greater satisfaction with telemental communication than with standard care, non-web-based communications, or provision of information.

Moderate quality evidence finds internet peer-support delivered via Listserv or similar can provide social support for people with schizophrenia. Review authors conclude that when peer-to-peer interactions were moderated by facilitators, retention, engagement, acceptability, and efficacy were higher than for interventions with no facilitators.

Moderate to low quality evidence finds PharmCAT (an app of environmental supports maintained on weekly home visits by a case worker) and MedeMonitor (smart-pill container capable of cueing the taking of medication and alerting staff of missed medication) is better at improving medication adherence than treatment as usual. The Information Technology–Aided Relapse Prevention Program in Schizophrenia (ITAREPS) can also improve treatment adherence and reduce rehospitalisations.

September 2020

Last updated at: 4:31 am, 14th September 2020
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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.