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Video Conferencing Holds Key to Treating Mental Health of Veterans

March 17, 2010 - 0 Comments
Veterans in the aftercare recovery group can discuss anything on their mind during group time with their psychiatrist via a TANDBERG 1700.

Veterans in the aftercare recovery group can discuss anything on their mind with their psychiatrist via a TANDBERG 1700 MXP.

The use of video conferencing is becoming common practice amongst world governments. A recent post discussed such uses by world leaders, but there is a new way governments are hoping to take advantage of the extended reach available with the use of video conferencing – telehealth.

Video conferencing may hold the key to providing effective mental health care to the large number of troops who leave active duty and come home to rural or remote areas in the U.S. A recent article in Reuters Health reported on a study by the Veterans Administration (VA) which found that anger management group therapy can be just as effective over video as in person. Given that an estimated 40 percent of today’s U.S. combat veterans are from remote or rural areas and up to one in six of them return home from their tour of duty with combat-related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), telepsychiatry is critical for treating their symptoms.

The study showed that anger management problems could be safely managed remotely. The researchers found that after six months of treatment over video, the study group demonstrated a reduction in anger symptoms similar to the in-person group, leading authors to conclude that group psychotherapy over video conferencing is not only feasible but also produces outcomes that are as good as in-person treatment.

For more information read the case study to see how The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Midwest Health Care Network is using telepsychiatry to treat veterans in the Midwest.

What are your thoughts on using video conferencing to deliver therapy sessions?

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