Review
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatr. Sep 22, 2015; 5(3): 286-304
Published online Sep 22, 2015. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v5.i3.286
Usefulness of telepsychiatry: A critical evaluation of videoconferencing-based approaches
Subho Chakrabarti
Subho Chakrabarti, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India
Author contributions: Chakrabarti S solely contributed to this paper.
Conflict-of-interest statement: No conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Subho Chakrabarti, MD, MAMS, FRCPsych, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh 160012, India. subhochd@yahoo.com
Telephone: +91-172-2756808 Fax: +91-172-2744401
Received: November 21, 2014
Peer-review started: December 1, 2014
First decision: January 8, 2015
Revised: May 7, 2015
Accepted: June 9, 2015
Article in press: June 11, 2015
Published online: September 22, 2015
Core Tip

Core tip: Telepsychiatry refers to the use of information and communication technologies to provide psychiatric services from a distance. Evidence accumulated over six decades shows that videoconferencing-based telepsychiatry is an acceptable and feasible form of providing mental health-care. Additionally, videoconferencing-based assessments are reliable, and clinical outcomes of telepsychiatric interventions are comparable to conventional treatment among diverse patient populations on several measures of outcome. However, problematic study-designs, uncertainty about cost-effectiveness, and poor uptake have hindered the progress of telepsychiatric services. Conducting further research to address these problems, and developing hybrid models incorporating traditional and telepsychiatric forms of care, would be the way forward.