The literature on the efficacy of telepsychiatry for assessing and treating children and adolescents with mental health problems is still developing, but there is evidence that telepsychiatry is diagnostically valid, and that there is high patient and provider satisfaction. Outcome studies are awaited, with the assumption that telepsychiatry has to demonstrate at least as good outcomes and reliability as face-to-face psychiatric care. In this article we suggest, by reviewing the process of telepsychiatry with children, and illustrating relevant issues with five case studies of patients we have seen, that there is a valid case for arguing that in certain children and adolescents, telepsychiatry, as a consultation process, might actually be a superior method of psychiatric assessment to face-to-face consultation. Four factors stand out supporting this view. These are the novelty of the consultation, the capacity to provide direction, the extra distance involved (both psychological and physical), and the authenticity of the interaction. More research in child and adolescent telepsychiatry is indicated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management