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Telepsychiatry clinical decision support system used by non-psychiatrists in remote areas: Validity & reliabilityof diagnostic module.

Telepsychiatry clinical decision support system used by non-psychiatrists in remote areas: Validity & reliabilityof diagnostic module.
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Telepsychiatry clinical decision support system used by non-psychiatrists in remote areas: Validity & reliabilityof diagnostic module.

Indian J Med Res. 2017 Aug;146(2):196-204

Authors: Malhotra S, Chakrabarti S, Shah R, Sharma M, Sharma KP, Malhotra A, Upadhyaya SK, Margoob MA, Maqbool D, Jassal GD

Abstract
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: A knowledge-based, logically-linked online telepsychiatric decision support system for diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders was developed and validated. We evaluated diagnostic accuracy and reliability of the application at remote sites when used by non-psychiatrists who underwent a brief training in its use through video-conferencing.
METHODS: The study was conducted at a nodal telepsychiatry centre, and three geographically remote peripheral centres. The diagnostic tool of application had a screening followed by detailed criteria-wise diagnostic modules for 18 psychiatric disorders. A total of 100 consecutive consenting adult outpatients attending remote telepsychiatry centres were included. To assess inter-rater reliability, patients were interviewed face to face by non-specialists at remote sites using the application (active interviewer) and simultaneously on online application via video-conferencing by a passive assessor at nodal centre. Another interviewer at the nodal centre rated the patient using Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) for diagnostic validation.
RESULTS: Screening sub-module had high sensitivity (80-100%), low positive predictive values (PPV) (0.10-0.71) but high negative predictive value (NPV) (0.97-1) for most disorders. For the diagnostic sub-modules, Cohen's kappa was >0.4 for all disorders, with kappa of 0.7-1.0 for most disorders. PPV and NPV were high for most disorders. Inter-rater agreement analysis revealed kappa >0.6 for all disorders.
INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: Diagnostic tool showed acceptable to good validity and reliability when used by non-specialists at remote sites. Our findings show that diagnostic tool of the telepsychiatry application has potential to empower non-psychiatrist doctors and paramedics to diagnose psychiatric disorders accurately and reliably in remote sites.

PMID: 29265020 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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