Dr Katharine Smith from the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry and the Oxford Health BRC’s Oxford Precision Psychiatry Lab (@OxfordPPL) gave a talk on ‘Digital technologies and telepsychiatry: an evidence-based synthesis of current guidance in the context of COVID-19’ for the Data Science for Mental Health Interest Group at The Alan Turing Institute in London.
The talk took place on Thursday 18th June 2020 and you can watch the recording in our covid-19 and mental health video library.
COVID-19 presents unique challenges in mental health care provision. Telepsychiatry can provide an alternative to face to face assessment and also be used creatively with other technologies to enhance care. However, clinicians and patients may feel underconfident about embracing this new way of working. Using an evidence-based approach we have provided an open access, easy-to-consult and reliable source of information and guidance on all topics related to COVID-19 and digital mental health. This resource meets the urgent need for practical information for both clinicians and health care organisations who are rapidly implementing remote consultation. It reflects variations across countries and can be used as basis for organisational change in the short and longer term. Providing easily accessible guidance is a first step, but will need cultural change to implement, as clinicians start to view telepsychiatry not just as a replacement, but also as a parallel and complementary form of delivering therapy. A combination or hybrid approach may be the most successful in the new world of mental health post-COVID-19 and so the guidance will need to expand to encompass this and also its use across all patients with all mental health conditions.