OBJECTIVE: With the recent surge in telepsychiatry utilization, it is important to study the effectiveness of this virtual modality. METHODS: To determine if telemedicine visits were effective in keeping psychiatric patients stable, a retrospective study was performed in an outpatient behavioral health setting using the OQ®45.2/Y-OQ® 30.2 assessment tool, which assesses patient reported outcomes across areas of functioning. To qualify for this study, patients needed at least two OQ scores with one being prior to the onset of telepsychiatry care and one being after returning to in-person care. RESULTS: 51.1% of adults (n=176) improved or remained the same, whereas 48.8% deteriorated. Results indicated that 50.0% of youth (n=22) improved or remained the same, whereas 50% deteriorated. There were no significant differences in OQ scores between gender, ethnicity, adult age groups, nor number of visits. There were significant differences in adult OQ scores between payer types, and youth OQ scores between different races. CONCLUSION: It is important to note that this study was conducted during the COVID-19 Pandemic, where, naturally, many individuals were facing hardships; therefore, to improve or remain the same during the pandemic is still an accomplishment. By assessing total OQ scores among telemedicine patients, this study is showing that telepsychiatry is a very valuable resource for psychiatric patient care. Further research with a larger sample size of qualifying patients is warranted especially post pandemic.
Ray A, Dew M, Millsaps U, Oladunjoye AF, Fuchs A, Hovington D, Primavera A, Padodara A, Yee M, Espiridion E. Prevalence and Outcomes of the Use of Telemedicine for Psychiatry Patients in the Outpatient Setting. Transformative Medicine (T-Med). 2022; 1(3):46-52. doi: https://doi.org/10.54299/tmed/pbye5667.