Published online Sep 22, 2015. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v5.i3.286
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: 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.