Reasons for embracing virtual treatment (apart from the initial impetus to do so) had a common factor: an appreciation of the convenience of the online session.

Patient acceptance of, and even preference for, virtual psychiatry treatment during COVID has further established that the future of telemedicine is now. While some psychiatrists continue to argue that the benefits of in-person therapy outweigh those of virtual treatment, patients are saying, “We want virtual treatment.”

This trend was supported by a recent study of Michigan psychiatric patients reported in the digital health publication JMIR. The study, based on responses from 244 patients receiving treatment during COVID, reported that the vast majority (96%) were fine with video or telephone sessions. And 54% said they would prefer to continue with virtual sessions once in-person sessions could be safely conducted.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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