Telehealth, Telemedicine, Addiction treatment, Treatment technology, Substance misuse, E-therapy
The growing presence of electronic technology in the health service professions is redefining the boundaries of counseling services. Commonly referred to as telehealth, utilization of electronic communication strategies to expand connectedness has opened new frontiers in behavioral health through applications ranging from digital phones, interactive video sessions, to virtual supervision. Substantial research suggests that telehealth is generally equal in effectiveness to traditional forms of treatment, especially for those individuals struggling with substance abuse problems. Unfortunately, research also suggests that telehealth is often underutilized when it comes to providing addiction treatment services. Telehealth trends in Colorado were examined using a Telehealth Survey consisting of 29 items. Participants consisted of 125 members of the Colorado Association of Addiction Professionals. Similar to research published elsewhere, 65% reported that they do not currently use telehealth technologies. Furthermore, findings illustrated that actual use can vary by ethnicity, age group, type of organization, as well as service location. Participants’ reluctance to implement telehealth is related to concerns associated with training, confidentiality, clinician/staff acceptance, and reimbursement. Future research, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, is recommended to further explore both the challenges and solutions to promote telehealth use, as well as methods to expand relevancy and awareness.
Faragher, J. M., Zhang, Y. S. D., Low, V., Folds, D., & Johnson, M. (2018). Utilization of telehealth technology in addiction treatment in Colorado. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science. DOI: 10.1007/s41347-018-0057-3
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