This study examined use by American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of services provided by specialty telemental health clinics focused on posttraumatic stress disorder. These clinics offer services via videoconferencing to address challenges faced by rural veterans in accessing care.
A retrospective chart and electronic medical record review was conducted for 85 male veterans who used services at two rural telemental health clinics from 2001 through 2006. Service use and other characteristics were documented before and after their initial telemental health intake.
After intake, patients' use of any health services (both general medical and mental health services) significantly increased (p<.01), as did the proportion receiving psychotropic medication (p<.01).
This first examination of service use by American Indian and Alaska Native veterans at specialty telemental health clinics will help inform research and clinical strategies for improving telemental health for this and other rural populations. (Psychiatric Services 63:179–181, 2012; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201100098)