Comparable reliability and acceptability of telepsychiatry and face-to-face psychiatric assessments in the emergency room setting

Moises Bistre, Alzbeta Juven-Wetzler, Daniel Argo, Igor Barash, Gregory Katz, Ronen Teplitz, Muhamad Musa Said, Yoav Kohn, Omer Linkovski, Renana Eitan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study aims to compare the reliability and acceptability of psychiatric interviews using telepsychiatry and face-to-face modalities in the emergency room setting. Methods: In this prospective observational feasibility study, psychiatric patients (n = 38) who presented in emergency rooms between April and June 2020, went through face-to-face and videoconference telepsychiatry interviews in a non-randomised varying order. Interviewers and a senior psychiatry resident who observed both interviews determined diagnosis, recommended disposition and indication for involuntary admission. Patients and psychiatrists completed acceptability post-assessment surveys. Results: Agreement between raters on recommended disposition and indication for involuntary admission as measured by Cohen’s kappa was ‘strong’ to ‘almost perfect’ (0.84/0.81, 0.95/0.87 and 0.89/0.94 for face-to-face vs. telepsychiatry, observer vs. face-to-face and observer vs. telepsychiatry, respectively). Partial agreement between the raters on diagnosis was ‘strong’ (Cohen’s kappa of 0.81, 0.85 and 0.85 for face-to-face vs. telepsychiatry, observer vs. face-to-face and observer vs. telepsychiatry, respectively).Psychiatrists’ and patients’ satisfaction rates, and psychiatrists’ perceived certainty rates, were comparably high in both face-to-face and telepsychiatry groups. Conclusions: Telepsychiatry is a reliable and acceptable alternative to face-to-face psychiatric assessments in the emergency room setting. Implementing telepsychiatry may improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services.Key points Telepsychiatry and face-to-face psychiatric assessments in the emergency room setting have comparable reliability. Patients and providers report a comparable high level of satisfaction with telepsychiatry and face-to-face modalities in the emergency room setting. Providers report a comparable level of perceived certainty in their clinical decisions based on telepsychiatry and face-to-face psychiatric assessments in the emergency room setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Telepsychiatry
  • emergency psychiatry
  • evaluation
  • inter-rater agreement
  • psychiatric assessment
  • reliability

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