Telehealth for Addiction - Landscape

Telehealth for Addiction

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TBHI is delighted to be launching a series of Q&A from our audiences. In this blog, then interspersed with our other news and features, we’ll post a question obtained from one of our Trainees. One such question will be drawn and answered regularly. While we can’t answer each question individually, we will try our very best to respond to all your queries. Send us your questions/enquiry/concerns by dropping an email here.

Are you aware of any resources/research on using telehealth for addiction?

There are many studies related to addictions. Go to our Telebehavioral Health Institute website, where we have an extensive and searchable blog that discusses many aspects of online care and several other key resources. The bibliography contains a list of over 1000 research articles related to telehealth for addiction. Search for various “addictions”, “alcohol” and other related topics at the top of the page. Know that another 4,000 references are available when you register for formal training at our Institute.

Introduction to Telehealth Theory & Practice

Enjoy a fast-moving overview of telebehavioral and telemental health. Understand the key points related to telehealth clinical, legal, ethical, technology, reimbursement, social media and other pivotal issues.

Disclaimer: The Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI Telehealth.org) offers information as educational material designed to inform you of issues, products, or services potentially of interest. We cannot and do not accept liability for your decisions regarding any information offered. Please conduct your due diligence before taking action. Also, the views and opinions expressed are not intended to malign any organization, company, or individual. Product names, logos, brands, and other trademarks or images are the property of their respective trademark holders. There is no affiliation, sponsorship, or partnership suggested by using these brands unless contained in an ad. We do not and cannot offer legal, ethical, billing technical, medical, or therapeutic advice. Use of this site constitutes your agreement to TBHI Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

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Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.
Marlene Maheu, Ph. D.
4 years ago

Tiffany,
Thank you for your great question.
The quality of the video is dependent on many factors, including connectivity (software platform you choose); infrastructure of geographical areas you want to access (sometimes, it is harder to get to someone on Fifth Avenue in NY than to someone in deep Kansas because of infrastructure issues, such as fire-walls that may be constructed to prevent interlopers in expensive apartment buildings or hospitals, etc.); your hardware, your client/patient hardware (camera, microphone and screen size/resolution). Those are only the mani issues, but others exist, too.
So back to your question, can you do adequate assessment of appearance, well, it depends on the adequacy of your equipment, and the kinds of things you need to assess. For example, if you treat opioid users, you’d better get very high quality equipment (on both your own and your client/patient’s end) if you want to adequately assess pupil size, or get someone locally to be your assistant (which is common in traditional telehealth, BTW). Look for the 10th online course that we list on this page:
https://blog.telehealth.org/individual/, the one entitled: Telephone and Videoconferencing in Telepractice. It offers 3-hours of information, including well-developed descriptions of many of these technical issues, tips on how to enhance your use of the equipment, as well as clinical tips on what kinds of equipment needs you’ll want to consider with various clinical populations.
As for physiological functioning, again, it depends on the particular functioning you want to assess. Gait analysis, tremor, hygiene checks – these many many other issues have been very well assessed and documented with regard to telehealth in the scientific literature (evidence-base). Our 3-Hour ONLINE course is devoted to addressing these clinical issues in the context of telebehavioral health, and available 24/7 for 6 months after purchase if you are serious about wanting to understand these clinical issues in any depth.
If you want discounted package pricing for your training, see this page for our Certificate programs. These packages are deeply discounted groupings of professional training available 24/7 online for 6-months from purchase.
Hurray for your having asked this pivotal question! It actually is our legal and ethical duties to be thinking about these questions, then gaining the needed expertise before treating clients/patients through telehealth of any kind. Luckily for practitioners today, most of these issues have been researched and then been mapped out in exquisite detail through almost 70 years of documented research that began in the United Stated, but now is worldwide. We at TBHI have documented more than 4,000 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters in behavioral health alone. We also have worked on the team that developed competencies for the Telebehavioral Health field. They just were published last week. See them here.

Tiffany Chhuom
Tiffany Chhuom
4 years ago

Have you found video conference acceptable for noting changes in the patient’s appearance or physiological functioning? I know both can help determine where the patient is at with their use patterns and SUD severity level .

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