Telemental Health

Effectiveness Outcome of Telemental Health: 3 Meta-Analyses


March 9, 2016 | Reading Time: 2 Minutes

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Thousands of studies have shown the effectiveness of telemental health services for specific populations, across all age groups, and with all disorders. To be more specific, these three meta-analyses have shown positive results:

Godleski, Darkins & Peters reported in April of 2012 that hospital utilization in mental health populations at the Veterans Administration were decreased by an average of 25% since the use of telehealth. Sample size: 98,609 patients

Backhaus and colleagues reported a meta-analysis in 2012. Of 821 potential articles, 65 were selected for inclusion. They concluded that video conferencing is feasible, has been used in a variety of therapeutic formats and with diverse populations, is generally associated with good user satisfaction, and is found to have similar clinical outcomes to traditional face-to-face psychotherapy.

Hilty, Ferrer, Parish, Johnston, Callahan & Yellowlees (2013) reviewed 755 studies and included 85 studies in their meta-analysis. Results: “Telemental health is effective for diagnosis and assessment across many populations (adult, child, geriatric, and ethnic) and for disorders in many settings (emergency, home health) and appears to be comparable to in-person care.”

​Furthermore, high patient satisfaction measures across multiple dimensions have been reported by researchers, including Lindhiem and colleagues (2013); Finkelstein (2011), Hilty (2007), Frueh (2002). In fact, in a 2014 Mayo Clinic survey, 75% of patients reported that they would rather use telehealth for their health care needs than go into an office. ​​​In a survey by The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, of the 1,500 respondents, 15% of the respondents indicated that they have already used telehealth.


  • Backhaus, A., Agha, Z., Maglione, M., Repp, A., Ross, B., Zuest, D., Rice-Thorp, N., Lohr, J., Thorp, S. (2012). Videoconferencing Psychotherapy: A Systematic Review. Psychological Services 2012, 9, (2), 111-131. (Ed.). (2010).
  • American Psychological Association (APA). Monitor on Psychology, 41(3),  11. Retrieved from
  • Finkelstein, S., Speedie, S., Zhou, X., Potthoff, S., & Ratner, E. (2011). Perception, satisfaction and utilization of the VALUE home telehealth service. Journal of Telemedicine & Telecare, 17(6), 288-292. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2011.100712
  • Frueh, B. C., Pellegrin, K. L., Elhai, J. D., Hamner, M. B., Gold, P. B., Magruder, K. M., & Arana, G. W. (2002). Patient satisfaction among combat veterans receiving specialty PTSD treatment. J Psychiatric Practices, 8, 326-332.
  • Godleski, L., Darkins, A., Peters, J. (2014). Outcomes of 98.609 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Patients Enrolled in Telemental Health Services, 2006-2010. PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES ps., 63 (4)
  • Hilty, D., Ferrer, D., Parish, M., Johnston, B., Callahan, E., & Yellowlees, P (2013). The Effectiveness of Telemental Health: A 2013 Review. Telemedicine Journal and e-Health. 19(6) 444-454.
  • Lindhiem, O., Bennett, C. B., Trentacosta, C. J., & McLear, C. (2014). Client preferences affect treatment satisfaction, completion, and clinical outcome: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psych Review, 34, 506-517.
  • Felke, T. P., & Healy, L. M. (2004). Creating connections for international learning through distance learning technologies: A Caribbean- USA demonstration effort. Caribbean Journal of Social Work, 3(1), 142-158.
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    Kenneth P. Drude, Ph.D.
    Kenneth P. Drude, Ph.D.
    7 years ago

    The references are a good introduction to studies evaluating the effectiveness of telemental health services.

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