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.
Waite MR, Diab S, Adefisoye J. Virtual behavioral health treatment satisfaction and outcomes across time. J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2022;9:158-65. doi: 10.17294/2330-0698.1918
Behavioral Medicine Commons, Health Services Research Commons, Psychiatric and Mental Health Commons, Psychiatry Commons, Psychiatry and Psychology Commons, Quality Improvement Commons, Telemedicine Commons
October 11th, 2021
December 9th, 2021