Article

Rural Versus Suburban Primary Care Needs, Utilization, and Satisfaction With Telepsychiatric Consultation

The Journal of Rural Health (Impact Factor: 1.77). 02/2007; 23(2):163 - 165. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2007.00084.x

ABSTRACT  Context and Purpose: Rural and suburban populations remain underserved in terms of psychiatric services but have not been compared directly in terms of using telepsychiatry. Methods: Patient demographics, reasons for consultation, diagnosis, and alternatives to telepsychiatric consultation were collected for 200 consecutive, first-time telepsychiatric consultations at rural and suburban clinics. Findings: Rural patients were more likely than suburban patients to be younger than 18 years, using Medicaid, and needing treatment planning (lest they be referred out of the community). Rural patient and primary care physician satisfaction was higher than that of suburban counterparts. Conclusion: Telepsychiatry programs may enhance access, satisfaction, and quality of rural care.

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