Dunstan DA, Tooth SM
Aust J Rural Health 2012 Apr;20(2):88-94
OBJECTIVE: This pilot study explored the outcomes of clinical psychology trainees delivering treatments via videoconferencing.
DESIGN: A noncurrent, multiple baseline across subjects and settings.
SETTING: University outpatient psychology clinic.
PARTICIPANTS: Six clients (two men and four women) with an anxiety or depressive disorder were randomly assigned to received six sessions of individual therapy (either via videoconferencing or face to face) from a male or female clinical psychology trainee.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants provided daily ratings (0-10) of subjective distress/well-being via text messaging, and at pre-, post-, and 1 month follow-up of treatment, completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Outcome Questionnaire-45. Along with the trainees, participants also provided feedback on the therapy experience.
RESULTS: The subjective well-being of all participants improved, and all videoconferencing participants showed a statistically and clinically significant reduction in symptomology and gains in general life functioning. Feedback comments were positive.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that there is value in clinical psychology trainees gaining experience in the delivery of treatments via videoconferencing. Further study is needed to demonstrate the potential for university clinics to deliver mental health services, via this modality, to rural and remote areas.