Online Program

Barriers to using telemedicine for preventing mental illness in rural Maine

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Amanda Feairheller, Undergraduate Student, Public Health Program, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH
Swagata Banik, PhD, Public Health, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH
Telemedicine has been established as an effective tool to improve rural health care including improving mental health. Using the principles of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) we conducted a community health assessment to examine the primary health care needs among residents of rural Washington County in Maine. The preliminary data indicate that although Washington County was one of the pioneers in introducing telemedicine in primary care, there are significant barriers to providing telemedicine-based mental health services in this rural county, where mental illness including substance abuse is one the primary health concerns in the community. These barriers include maintenance cost of infrastructure; provider reimbursement issues; licensing issues in satellite establishments; concerns of privacy on both ends of interaction; lack of psychiatrists trained in telemedicine; lack of training among providers; lack of virtual technology skills among general population; and shortage of practitioners. The presentation provides detailed accounts of prevaling t mental health issues among the residents and the psycho-social and structural barriers to providing telemedicine-based mental health prevention.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify and discuss psycho-social and structural barriers to utilizing telemedicine for mental health promotion among rural population.

Keyword(s): Telemedicine, Adult and Child Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student in Public Health at Baldwin Wallace University. The current paper is part of my Research study for my Public Health major. I have conceptualized and implemented the study design and contributed to data collection and analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.