Telehealth is a distanced method for delivery of traditionally in-person clinical psychological and neuropsychological services. Much of the current research has focused on feasibility of the method and there is a lack of data on clinicians' perspectives of telehealth. This research will explore current experiences and opinions of clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists on telehealth practising in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
An anonymous sample of registered and practicing neuropsychologists and clinical psychologists were recruited to complete an online survey between August and October 2021. Closed-ended questions were analysed using SPSS and open-ended questions were analysed using a descriptive inductive Thematic Analysis method and Nvivo software. The survey queried non-identifiable demographic and practice details, prior knowledge of telehealth, clinical experience and explored telehealth in the context of three common practise aspects including: history taking interviews, assessments, and therapy/interventions.
A total of 88 participants responded to the survey and results showed that 90% had used videoconference for clinical purposes. The mean clinical experience of the sample was 14.5 years, age ranged between 20 and 79 years and 78% were female. Assessments were the least common service used via telehealth (n = 19), more so history taking interviews (n = 62) and most for therapy and intervention (n = 71). Respondents spoke positively of Telehealth for use in specific circumstances. Thematic analysis identified four themes which illustrated professional opinions on the use of telehealth for clinical purposes: Accessibility of clinical services, client and clinician specific considerations, practical considerations, and shifts in the therapeutic relationship.
Results of this study generated deeper insight into the current real-world practice of TH in NZ, by exploring the use and acceptability of TH from the perspective of clinically practicing psychologists in the context of rapid uptake during COVID-19. The study reinforced the importance of monitoring relative outcomes and effectiveness of TH for different areas of psychological practise, as requirements differed across different services and treatments.||en_NZ