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Telehealth Services for the Treatment of Psychiatric Issues: Clinical Effectiveness, Safety, And Guidelines

Last updated: January 15, 2015
Project Number: RC0624-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What is the clinical effectiveness and safety of using telehealth services in both emergency and non-emergency psychiatric situations?
  2. What are the evidence-based guidelines associated with the use of telehealth services in both emergency and non-emergency psychiatric situations?

Key Message

There is evidence supporting the effectiveness and feasibility of a videoconference-based telepsychiatry service, and its use can offer increased access to specialty mental health care for residents of rural or remote areas. Factors that influence the effectiveness of telemental health care include connectivity between sites as well as the bandwidth and resolution employed to provide the service. Diagnostic assessment conducted through videoconferencing-based telepsychiatry requires high to medium bandwidth and resolution to identify non-verbal behaviors such as tics, dysmorphia, or abnormalities in affect. The included guidelines recommend that emergency protocols and procedures specific to each of the telepsychiatry services being provided and environments of care should be developed before the actual care is given.