Lal, S., Abdel-Baki, A. et Lee, H. (2022). Telepsychiatry services during COVID-19: A cross-sectional survey on the experiences and perspectives of young adults with first-episode psychosis. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 1-10.
Introduction. Limited evidence exists on the implementation of telepsychiatry within the context of early intervention services for psychosis, the need for which has become even more relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this gap, we investigated the experiences and perspectives of young adults recovering from a first-episode psychosis (FEP) following their use of telepsychiatry services (i.e. use of video conferencing technology to deliver mental health services to patients in real time).
Methods. A cross-sectional online survey study was implemented between November 19th, 2020 and March 9th, 2021 with young adults recruited from a specialized program for FEP located in an urban Canadian setting. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, exploratory (Fisher’s exact test), and content analysis.
Results. Among 51 participants (mean age = 26.0, SD = 4.7; 56.9% female), the majority were satisfied with the service (91%, 46/51), perceived that the platform was easy to use (90%, 46/51) and felt secure in terms of confidentiality (82%, 42/51). Satisfaction was related to perceptions regarding ease of use, image quality, and employment/studying status. Several partially or totally agreed that the presence of a third party was essential to login during the first few sessions (35%, 18/51), and some needed technical support (24%, 12/51) throughout the sessions.
Conclusions. This study shows that telepsychiatry is feasible and acceptable to implement for patients in the early phase of psychosis recovery. It also highlights the importance of making technical support available, especially in the first few times of using the service, and addressing patient concerns regarding confidentiality, even when using secured health technologies.