Is Telehealth Effective?

Is Telehealth Effective?

How MyOutcomes can reduce concerns about adverse effects of telehealth on psychotherapy and therapeutic rapport.

What is telehealth?
The internet has foundationally changed the way humanity has approached just about every aspect of life, this includes psychotherapy. Telehealth, as defined by the Mayo Clinic, is, “the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care.” This applies to mental health as well. For example, more and more therapists/councilors are moving to a “secure” (HIPPA compliant) video conferencing platform.

Why are people opting for telehealth?
Telehealth has exploded in popularity not just because of COVID-19, although that has fueled the explosion, for certain. Clients, counselors, and therapists are finding the telehealth approach convenient and are opting for it more and more. For clients, the benefits include being able to see your counselor in the comfort of your own home without having to run around to make an appointment. Additionally, clients are able to see therapists from all around the world, allowing for more choice to find the right therapist for the individual. Conversely, therapists can treat clients in their own home, have access to a wider-base of potential clients, and can reduce overhead. People are no longer limited to face-to-face consultations, opening the door to all sorts of new practices and client-therapist relationships previously unimaginable.

Does telehealth work?
Absolutely. According to the World Journal of Psychiatry, “the evidence […] suggests that telepsychiatry is comparable to face-to-face services in terms of reliability of clinical assessments and treatment outcomes.” However, this report pointed out that ‘rapport’ suffers due to the distance between the client and the therapist, “Providers, however, tend to express more concerns about the potentially adverse of effects of telepsychiatry on therapeutic rapport.”

How can practitioners, or clients, using telehealth improve ‘rapport’?
Thanks to MyOutcomes’ Session Rating Scale and Outcome Rating Scale, the therapeutic alliance–the bond between client and counselor–can be measured session-by-session. If any aspect of the alliance is found lacking, therapists can adjust their approach to shore up weaknesses. And, through MyOutcomes, it’s never been easier to administer the SRS and ORS. A Direct Access link is sent to a client’s email and this eliminates the need for clients to login or download anything. Clients can fill the SRS and ORS out wherever they are in minutes, and therapists/counselors can utilize this information to improve their practice, thus benefitting from telehealth while reducing any blow to rapport.

Click here to see how to integrate MyOutcomes into your telehealth practice today!