Publication Date



telehealth, telemedicine, patient and clinician satisfaction, behavioral health, COVID-19, no-shows, hybrid virtual


Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have major and long-lasting impacts on health care delivery and mental health. As health care shifted to telehealth, legislation was adjusted to expand telehealth allowances, creating a unique opportunity to elucidate outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess long-term patient and clinician satisfaction and outcomes with virtual behavioral health.

Methods: Data were obtained over 16 months from surveys to patients and clinicians receiving/providing virtual treatment. Outcomes data also were collected from medical records of adults receiving in-person and virtual behavioral health treatment. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics. Groups were compared using various chi-squared tests for categorical variables, Likert response trends over time, and conditional independence, with Wilcoxon rank-sum or Jonckheere trend test used to assess continuous variables. P-values of ≤ 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: Patients gave high ratings to virtual treatment and indicated a preference for virtual formats. Both patient and clinician preference for virtual visits increased significantly with time, and many clinicians perceived virtual services to be equally effective to in-person. Virtual programs had higher completion rates, attendance rates, and number of treatment visits, suggesting that virtual behavioral health had equivalent or better outcomes to in-person treatment and that attitudes toward telehealth changed over time.

Conclusions: If trends found in this study continue, telehealth may emerge as a preferred option long term This is important considering the increase in mental health needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the eventuality that in-person restrictions ease as the pandemic subsides.

Appendix A.pdf (154 kB)
Online Appendix A




October 11th, 2021


December 9th, 2021


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