Family-focused therapy via videoconferencing
A 30-year-old veteran with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and his mother were referred for family-focused therapy (FFT), an empirically-supported, manual-based treatment. The veteran had had multiple hospitalizations and experienced chronic auditory hallucinations for self-harm. Minor modifications to FFT were made for implementation via videoconferencing (at a bandwidth of 384 kbit/s). This may have enhanced the treatment by making the process of communication and problem-solving more explicit. The course of FFT was successfully completed, and the veteran and family showed a high level of satisfaction with care as well as improved medication adherence, good quality of life, high levels of hope, good interpersonal functioning, and very mild negative and positive psychiatric symptoms. This veteran had previous exposure to telemental health, which may have influenced his willingness to receive tele-FFT and perhaps affected the outcome of the case. The ability to provide this type of service to people in rural areas is important.
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