The North Lewisham telepsychiatry project: beyond the pilot phase

McLaren, Paul; Ahlbom, Johanna; Riley, Anne; Mohammedali, Akber; Denis, Michael
August 2002
Journal of Telemedicine & Telecare;Aug2002 Supplement 2, Vol. 8, p98
Academic Journal
The integration of a telepsychiatry application into an inner-city community mental health service was evaluated over 10 months. ISDN videoconferencing at 128 kbit/s was employed for psychiatric consultation between a primary care centre and a community mental health centre. A convenience sample of patients and referrals seen by videoconferencing was compared with a sample seen face to face. During the study period 19 patients were managed by videoconferencing and 12 face to face. There were 162 consultations, comprising 81 prearranged teleconsultations and 81 prearranged face-to-face consultations. There was no significant difference in attendance between videoconferencing and face-to-face consultations. Nine of the videoconferencing new referrals had not completed their treatment at the end of the study period, compared with only three in the face-to-face group. This implies that it takes longer to complete treatment for new referrals managed by videoconferencing.


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