Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 299-301

Asynchronous telepsychiatry in Maharashtra, India: Study of feasibility and referral pattern


1 Department of Psychiatry, Grant Government Medical College, Sir J. J. Hospital, Byculla, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, LTM Medical College and General Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vanshree Patil Balasinorwala
Room No. 8, Dhanwantari 2, J.J. Hospital Compound, Byculla, Mumbai - 400 008, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.135384

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Context: There is a paucity of published telepsychiatry results in India. Aims: This study was conducted to assess the feasibility of asynchronous telepsychiatry and to study the referral patterns. Settings and Design: This study was conducted in the telemedicine unit of a tertiary care center and design was retrospective analysis of 94 cases, which were diagnosed and treated by telepsychiatry. Materials and Methods: All 94 patients who were referred between January 2007 and August 2013 for telepsychiatry consultations were retrospectively analyzed to assess the referral pattern and feasibility. Statistical Analysis Used: Comparisons between demographic parameters and psychiatric diagnosis was done using Chi-square test. Results: In 89 out of 94 (95%) patients it was possible to make a definitive diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment only on the basis of data received from the primary care physician by telepsychiatry. This indicates the feasibility of telepsychiatry. The most common problems for which referrals were made included schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, mood disorders and substance related disorders. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the feasibility of Asynchronous telepsychiatry. Additional Indian studies should be conducted to build the evidence base for the best use of asynchronous telepsychiatry.


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