Journal of Mental Health and Aging

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Research Article - Journal of Mental Health and Aging (2021) Volume 5, Issue 3

The patients and healthcare professionals perceptions of an innovative telehealth system designed for community-based older adults with depressive symptoms

Objectives: New solutions are required to address challenges associated with delivering mental health care to older adults. This telehealth and patient-reported outcome measurement for geriatrics (TELEPROM-G) study sought to evaluate older adults' living in the community with depressive symptoms and healthcare providers' perceptions of videoconferencing and electronic Collaborative Health Record (CHR) platform for mental healthcare service delivery.

Methods: This component of TELEPROM-G study used focused ethnography to collect qualitative data from thirty older adults and eight health care providers (HCP) recruited from two older adult mental health outpatient programs in Ontario, Canada. Focus groups for patients and HCPs were conducted separately to evaluate perceptions of the CHR platform.

Results: The study retained 26 (87%) client participants and all staff participants until its completion. Patients and health care providers reported improved communication facilitated by the CHR platform and noted the platform could reduce the need to travel to appointments. Patient suggestions for improving this technology included using an electronic diary to help with recalling appointments and setting up prompts for medications.

Conclusion: An electronic collaborative health resource platform seems to be feasible in busy seniors' mental health clinic. Future telehealth may consider features that promote more patient autonomy, accommodating patients with visual and mobile impairments, and making the platform accessible on multiple electronic devices, such as phones, tablets. Health care providers and patients will need to openly communicate preferences and expectations with each other for positive uptake and clinical use of the platform

Author(s): Cheryl Forchuk*, Akshya Vasudev, Amer M Burhan, Richard Booth, Jeff Hoch, Wanrudee Isaranuwatchai, Maxine Lewis, Daniel J Lizotte, Abraham Rudnick, Mary Chambers, Fiona Nolan, Alastair J Flint, Karl Looper, Keri-Leigh Cassidy, Soham Rej, Boniface Harerimana, Tony O'Regan, Jeffrey P Reiss

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