open access

Ahead of print
Review paper
Published online: 2021-04-19
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Advances in telepsychiatry related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Marlena Sokół-Szawłowska
DOI: 10.5603/PSYCH.a2021.0018

open access

Ahead of print
Prace poglądowe - nadesłane
Published online: 2021-04-19

Abstract

The article presents progress, limitations and potential challenges in the field of telepsychiatry in the world and in Poland caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.The pandemic as collective social experience has led to numerous negative consequences, but at the same time has contributed to progress in some areas of life. Such field is telemedicine, especially telepsychiatry. Stress related to social limitations, trauma related to developing COVID-19, as well as increasing number of reports on neurotrophic effect of SARS-CoV-2 increase the risk of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Thus, during the pandemic, the demand for availability of psychiatric care increases. At the same time, most of existing forms of psychiatric care carry the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Therefore, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote contacts in psychiatry were recommended. These forms were already known and widely used in some highly computerized health care systems (especially with lowpopulation density and / or low availability of psychiatrists). However, for most systems, the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden need to intensify remote contacts with patients with mental disorders poses major logistical challenge. Telepsychiatry has numerous advantages and disadvantages. The pandemic caused necessity to adapt to new conditions and becamehugesource of urgent actions by groups of specialists developing standards for the diagnosis and treatment of people with mental disorders in countrieswhere this form was not considered to be equivalent of stationary visits before.During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was sudden leap in progress in the field of telepsychiatry, which requires in-depth research to develop or modify standards of remote carefor patients with mental disorders.

Abstract

The article presents progress, limitations and potential challenges in the field of telepsychiatry in the world and in Poland caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.The pandemic as collective social experience has led to numerous negative consequences, but at the same time has contributed to progress in some areas of life. Such field is telemedicine, especially telepsychiatry. Stress related to social limitations, trauma related to developing COVID-19, as well as increasing number of reports on neurotrophic effect of SARS-CoV-2 increase the risk of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Thus, during the pandemic, the demand for availability of psychiatric care increases. At the same time, most of existing forms of psychiatric care carry the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Therefore, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote contacts in psychiatry were recommended. These forms were already known and widely used in some highly computerized health care systems (especially with lowpopulation density and / or low availability of psychiatrists). However, for most systems, the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden need to intensify remote contacts with patients with mental disorders poses major logistical challenge. Telepsychiatry has numerous advantages and disadvantages. The pandemic caused necessity to adapt to new conditions and becamehugesource of urgent actions by groups of specialists developing standards for the diagnosis and treatment of people with mental disorders in countrieswhere this form was not considered to be equivalent of stationary visits before.During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was sudden leap in progress in the field of telepsychiatry, which requires in-depth research to develop or modify standards of remote carefor patients with mental disorders.

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Keywords

mental disorders, telepsychiatry, COVID-19 pandemic

About this article
Title

Advances in telepsychiatry related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal

Psychiatria (Psychiatry)

Issue

Ahead of print

Article type

Review paper

Published online

2021-04-19

DOI

10.5603/PSYCH.a2021.0018

Keywords

mental disorders
telepsychiatry
COVID-19 pandemic

Authors

Marlena Sokół-Szawłowska

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