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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 152  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 417-422

A study of collaborative telepsychiatric consultations for a rehabilitation centre managed by a primary healthcare centre


1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Tele Medicine Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Narayana Manjunatha
Department of Psychiatry, Tele Medicine Centre, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_676_18

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Background & objectives: Telepsychiatric methods can be used for the purpose of providing clinical care comparable to in-person treatment in various settings including rehabilitation. Previous evidence has shown that clinical outcomes for both are comparable. In view of challenges posed in the implementation of traditional psychiatric care in India, telepsychiatry offers an avenue to provide feasible, affordable and clinically useful psychiatric services. This study was conducted to examine the utility, feasibility and clinical effectiveness of providing collaborative telepsychiatric services with a primary care doctor for inpatients in a rehabilitation centre through a telepsychiatrist of estabilished psychiatry department in a tertiary care centre in south India in a collaborative care model with a primary care doctor. Methods: Patients at the rehabilitation centre attached to an urban primary healthcare centre received collaborative care using telepsychiatry for a period from January 2013 to December 2016. A retrospective review of their charts was performed and sociodemographic, clinical and treatment details were collected and analyzed. Results: The sample population (n=132) consisted of 75 per cent males, with a mean age of 43.8 ± 12.1 yr. Each patient received an average of 7.8 ± 4.9 live video-consultations. Initially, an antipsychotic was prescribed for 84.1 per cent (n=111) of patients. Fifty four patients (40.9%) had a partial response and 26 (19.7%) patients showed a good response. Interpretation & conclusions: The study sample represented the population of homeless persons with mental illness who are often brought to the rehabilitation centre. This study results demonstrated the successful implementation of inpatients collaborative telepsychiatry care model for assessment, follow up, investigation and treatment of patients through teleconsultation.


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