Posted in mHealth

Web therapy: overcoming mental health taboos with technology

For a new generation of patients, could the laptop — or even cellphone — replace the stereotypical shrink’s couch? A crop of new startups wants to take psychotherapy into the 21st century.

About one in five Americans will experience a mental health challenge during their lifetime, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association. But experts say that 60 percent of them will never seek help. The lack of available care, inconvenience and cost are all barriers to access, but so is the fear of prejudice and discrimination from friends, family and even employers.

“Stigma and shame is a huge factor – maybe the most important one,” said Oren Frank, founder of mental health startup Talktala. “People who have been to regular therapy are less ashamed of it, but people who are newcomers are paralyzed by fear.”

Online options enable people to receive therapy on their own turf and terms, without needing to update others on their whereabouts – and they offer the benefit of anonymity.

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Posted in #HCSM

Effect of telehealth on psychological outcomes in patients with long term conditions

surveyTo assess the effect of second generation, home based telehealth on health related quality of life, anxiety, and depressive symptoms over 12 months in patients with long term conditions.

For long term conditions, telehealth has been promoted to reduce healthcare costs while improving health related quality of life (HRQoL), by facilitating self monitoring with remote surveillance by healthcare professionals.

Evidence for the benefits of telehealth is ambivalent, with little empirical evidence on benefits on psychological outcomes.

Methodologically rigorous trials of telehealth in relation to health related quality of life and psychological outcomes are required

What this study adds

Compared with usual care, second generation telehealth had no effect on HRQoL, anxiety, or depressive symptoms for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or heart failure over 12 months

The findings suggest that claims for potentially salutary or deleterious effects of telehealth are unfounded for most patients

Telehealth should not be introduced with the aim of improving quality of life or psychological outcomes

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