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Telehealth and the Community SMI Population: Reflections on the Disrupter Experience of COVID-19.
Talley RM, Brunette MF, Adler DA, Dixon LB, Berlant J, Erlich MD, Goldman B, First MB, Koh S, Oslin DW, Siris SG. Telehealth and the Community SMI Population: Reflections on the Disrupter Experience of COVID-19. The Journal of nervous and mental disease. 2021 Jan 1; 209(1):49-53.
The novel coronavirus pandemic and the resulting expanded use of telemedicine have temporarily transformed community-based care for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), challenging traditional treatment paradigms. We review the rapid regulatory and practice shifts that facilitated broad use of telemedicine, the literature on the use of telehealth and telemedicine for individuals with SMI supporting the feasibility/acceptability of mobile interventions, and the more limited evidence-based telemedicine practices for this population. We provide anecdotal reflections on the opportunities and challenges for telemedicine drawn from our daily experiences providing services and overseeing systems for this population during the pandemic. We conclude by proposing that a continued, more prominent role for telemedicine in the care of individuals with SMI be sustained in the post-coronavirus landscape, offering future directions for policy, technical assistance, training, and research to bring about this change.