Journal Article

An evaluation of telepsychiatry during the COVID-19 pandemic across service users, carers and clinicians : an international mixed methods study


Background. Worldwide uptake of telepsychiatry accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective. To conduct an evaluation of the opinions, preferences and attitudes to telepsychiatry from service users, carers and clinicians in order to understand how telepsychiatry can be best used in the peri/post-COVID-19 era. Methods. This mixed-methods, multicentre, international study of telepsychiatry was set in two sites in England and two in Italy. Survey questionnaires and focus group topic guides were co-produced for each participant group (service users, carers and clinicians). Findings. In the UK, 906 service users, 117 carers and 483 clinicians, and in Italy, 164 service users, 56 carers and 72 clinicians completed the surveys. In all, 17 service users/carers and 14 clinicians participated in focus groups. Overall, telepsychiatry was seen as convenient in follow-ups with a specific purpose such as medication reviews; however, it was perceived as less effective for establishing a therapeutic relationship or for assessing acutely disturbed mental states. In contrast to clinicians, most service users and carers indicated that telepsychiatry had not improved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most service users and carers reported that the choice of appointment modality was most often determined by the service or clinician. Conclusion and relevance. There were circumstances in which telepsychiatry was seen as more suitable than others and clear differences in clinician, carer and service user perspectives on telepsychiatry. Clinical implications. All stakeholders should be actively engaged in determining a hybrid model of care according to clinical features and service user and carer preferences. Clinicians should be engaged in training programmes on telepsychiatry.

Attached files


Sheriff, Rebecca
Hong, James S.W.
Catherine Henshall
D'Agostino, Armando
Tomassi, Simona
Stein, Hans-Christian
Cerveri, Giancarlo
Cibra, Chiara
Bonora, Stefano
Giordano, Barbara
Smith, Tanya
Phiri, Peter
Asher, Carolyn
Elliot, Kathryn
Zangani, Caroline
Ede, Roger
Saad, Fathi
Smith, Katharine Alison
Cipriani, Andrea

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-07-06

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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