May, Carl, Gask, Linda, Atkinson, Theresa, Ellis, Nicola, Mair, Frances and Esmail, Aneez
Resisting and promoting new technologies in clinical practice: the case of telepsychiatry
Social Science & Medicine, 52, (12), . (doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00305-1).
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New telecommunications technologies promise to profoundly change the spatial and temporal relationship between health professional and patient. This paper reports results from an ethnographic study of the introduction of a videophone or ‘telemedicine’ system intended to facilitate faster and more convenient referral of patients with anxiety and depression in primary care, to a community mental health team. We explore the reasons for contest over the telemedicine system in practice, contrasting professionals’ critique of the technology in play with a more fundamental problem: the extent to which the telecommunications system threatened deeply embedded professional constructs about the nature and practice of therapeutic relationships.
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