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Effect of telehealth-to-home interventions on quality of life for individuals with depressive and anxiety disorders

Authors Durland L, Interian A, Pretzer-Aboff I, Dobkin R

Received 24 May 2014

Accepted for publication 8 July 2014

Published 7 November 2014 Volume 2014:2 Pages 105—119


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Logan Durland,1 Alejandro Interian,1,2 Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff,3 Roseanne D Dobkin1

1Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Piscataway, NJ, 2The New Jersey Healthcare System, Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Lyons, NJ, 3University of Delaware, School of Nursing and Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Program, Newark, DE, USA

Abstract: Although millions of individuals suffer from mental health problems worldwide, only a small fraction receives adequate treatment. The high prevalence of depression and anxiety observed worldwide, in conjunction with very low rates of treatment utilization, are of great clinical significance, as these psychiatric conditions are two of the most important determinants of quality of life (QoL). Telehealth interventions have been touted as potential solutions to these mental health care disparities, with great interest and utility demonstrated across a diverse array of medical and psychiatric populations. Telehealth interventions may be clinic-based or home-based. The primary objective of this paper is to highlight the extent to which telehealth-to-home interventions positively impact multiple facets of QoL for individuals with depression and anxiety disorders, including those with comorbid medical conditions. While QoL outcomes are important to consider in any assessment of treatment effectiveness, QoL enhancement has received limited attention in the telemental health literature to date. All studies included in the present review evaluate telehealth-to-home treatments, assess QoL outcomes, and incorporate some degree of live, synchronous therapist-patient contact. Recommendations to advance the application of telehealth-to-home approaches are proposed and include: additional research on video-to-home telehealth platforms, strategies to increase the adoption of telehealth-to-home interventions amongst mental health treatment providers, national legislative reform to establish fair and appropriate reimbursement parameters for telehealth-to-home care, standardized definitions of telehealth-to-home services to facilitate provider engagement and reimbursement, and systematic approaches for measuring the cost-effectiveness of telehealth-to-home treatments.

Keywords: telehealth-to-home, quality of life, depression and anxiety disorders

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