May, C.R., Ellis, N.T., Atkinson, T., Gask, L., Mair, F. and Smith, C.
Psychiatry by videophone: a trial service in North West England
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 68, .
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In this paper we report on the use of a video link between two general practices and a hospital based mental health team in North West England to provide a trial telepsychiatry service for individuals with depression and anxiety related disorders. Patients (n = 16) took part in an evaluation of the service by both structured questionnaire and semi-structured interview. The results of the evaluation study suggest that patients may be highly critical of telemedicine systems and that they do so not simply on the grounds of the technical quality of video links, but also because the remote link increases the difficulty that the patient faces in expressing deep scated emotional and existential problems. It is not, therefore, simply a matter of technical quality in the link, but also a question of the quality of interpersonal relations perceived by the patient.
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