Evaluating the Diagnostic Agreement between Telepsychiatry Assessment and Face-to-Face Visit: A Preliminary Study
Objective: Despite accumulated evidence that demonstrates clinical outcome of telepsychiatry is comparable with conventional method; little research has been done on telepsychiatry in developing countries. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic agreement between telepsychiatry assessment and face-to-face assessment. Moreover, patient and doctor satisfaction was assessed by self-report questionnaire.
Method: This study was conducted in an inpatient department of a university-affiliated hospital in Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Iran. The study sample consisted of 40 inpatients aged over 18 years who were selected from October 2016 to February 2017. All patients were visited once by face-to-face conventional method and once by interactive video teleconsultation by 2 psychiatric consultants.
Results: Results of this study revealed that the diagnostic agreement between the 2 interviewers was 75%. Moreover, about 85% of the patients preferred telepsychiatry for follow-up visits. Also, more than 82% of the patients would recommend telepsychiatry to others although 95% of them perceived contact via telepsychiatry as uncomfortable to some extent.
Conclusion: Telepsychiatry service can be used for psychiatric evaluation in Iran, and it has a desirable effect on patient and doctor satisfaction. The results of this study showed the capacity of moving towards using telepsychiatry.
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