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The Good, The Bad, The Uncertain: Diverse Provider Experiences with Telemental Health During COVID-19.

Lawson JL, Doran JM, O'Shea M, Abel EA. The Good, The Bad, The Uncertain: Diverse Provider Experiences with Telemental Health During COVID-19. The Psychiatric quarterly. 2022 Sep 1; 93(3):753-774.

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This study assessed mental health provider attitudes and perceptions of telemental health (TMH) prior to and during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The study expands on earlier work by providing a more detailed qualitative analysis of provider perceptions of TMH, including its efficacy, advantages, and limitations. The current study is part of a larger mixed methods project utilizing a repeated cross-sectional design. An online survey was administered to a sample of 1,448 mental health providers. Of the survey participants, 934 offered narrative responses to open-ended questions and were included in the present study. Qualitative data was analyzed using a coding team and the Consensual Qualitative Research paradigm. Providers described both positive and negative feelings about using TMH during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Several advantages were identified, with providers clearly appreciating the role of TMH in allowing them to work continuously and safely during the public health emergency. An array of negative views and concerns were also expressed, including that TMH may not be optimal or effective in certain settings or situations. A portion of respondents also indicated a preference for face-to-face care and illuminated ways they found TMH lacking or limited.

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