Friday, September 23, 2011

The Efficacy of Telemedicine in the Provision of Mental Health Services to Rural Areas: A Systematic Review of Literature

Although the prevalence rates of mental illness are similar in rural and urban areas, rural residents often underutilize mental health services and/or delay treatment. The lack of access to mental health services faced by many rural families has led both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association to identify mental health as a top rural health concern and to further identify telemedicine as a potentially effective way to deliver services. The research on telemedicine applications is growing rapidly and there are now a number of recently published clinical trials that compare the outcomes of face-to-face treatment with tele-therapy. The purpose of this session is to present the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that will shed light on the question; Is telemedicine as effective as face-to-face interventions for the delivery of mental health services to rural Oklahomans?

View the presentation given Denna L. Wheeler, Ph.D., at the 2011 Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Annual Meeting in Norman, Oklahoma that begins to answer this important and timely question.

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