Objective: To assess the viability of telemedicine as a vehicle for offering mental health consultations to primary-care patients. Methods: Satisfaction ratings from 34 mental health encounters were compared with ratings from a convenience sample of 59 non-mental health encounters on four aspects of satisfaction: self-reported ability to speak freely; probability of further use of telemedicine; perceived experience of telemedicine personnel; and relative preference for a telemedicine visit compared with a face-to-face visit. The study was conducted in the context of the Telemedicine Program at the University of California, Davis. Results: No significant differences in satisfaction were found between mental health and non-mental health encounter groups for any of the four aspects of satisfaction. Conclusions: Ratings from patients receiving mental health consultation using telemedicine yielded levels of satisfaction similar to those found in telemedicine consultations in non-mental health medical areas. The results support telemedicine as a means to extend mental health consultation to rural primary-care patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - 1998|
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