Asian Americans often face cultural and language barriers when obtaining mental health treatment. With the small number of Asian mental health providers, it is difficult to ensure the linguistic and ethnic matching of providers and patients. Telepsychiatry holds great promise to address the unique needs of Asian Americans. We developed a project to establish telepsychiatry services that connect Korean mental health patients in Georgia with a linguistically and culturally competent psychiatrist in California and assessed the level of acceptability of psychiatric treatment via real-time teleconferencing among these patients. Upon the completion of the program, 16 patients (5 men, 11 women) completed a questionnaire that measured their acceptability of the telepsychiatry service. The findings indicate a high level of acceptance of the program among Korean patients. The quantitative and qualitative data show that they especially appreciated the cultural sensitivity of the consultation and the comfortable interaction with the provider. However, challenges such as technical issues of teleconferencing may negatively affect the quality of the clinical interaction. Our study expands the knowledge base regarding the acceptability of such services to a population that experiences disparities in mental health care. Future research should extend telepsychiatry services to other Asian population groups that experience lower access to mental health services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management