HumanInsight Acceptability of Telehealth for Multidiagnostic Suicidal Patients in a Real-World Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Telemed J E Health. 2022 Aug 18. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0205. Online ahead of print.
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the acceptability of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) delivered through telehealth to complex, suicidal patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We surveyed 163 adult participants enrolled in outpatient services at a private, free-standing DBT clinic certified by the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification for its fidelity to the treatment. Treatment satisfaction was assessed, as well as ease of telehealth over time, differences in satisfaction between patients who had previously experienced face-to-face treatment and those who had only experienced telehealth, patients' beliefs regarding the impact of telehealth on their progress, and preference for face-to-face versus telehealth services. Additionally, participants' reasons for liking and disliking telehealth were reported. Results: The average overall satisfaction rating was 82.26 (±18.71) on a 100-point scale. Factors identified as being relevant to satisfaction included increased access to care, saving time and money, and increased comfort participating in therapy from home. Factors identified as relevant to dissatisfaction included feeling less connected to therapists and other patients. The majority of participants reported that telehealth positively impacted or did not impact treatment progress. Satisfaction was significantly related to participants' perception of telehealth's impact on progress in treatment. Demographic variables were also included in the analyses, but were unrelated to satisfaction. Conclusions: Findings indicate that, from the point of view of consumer satisfaction, telehealth appears satisfactory for delivery of DBT and may play an increased role in behavioral health care postpandemic.
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