Determinants of experience & satisfaction in telehealth psychiatry during the COVID-19 pandemic for patients & providers

Michael Morreale, Ilana Cohen, Michael Van Wert, Alexis Beccera, Leslie Miller, William Narrow, Barbara Schweizer, Jason Straub, Peter Zandi, Anne Ruble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The objective of this study was to characterize the experiences and overall satisfaction of patients and providers with the March 2020 transition to telehealth in a psychiatric setting (telepsychiatry). The study also investigated how socio-demographic and clinical characteristics impact an individual’s experiences and satisfaction with telepsychiatry. Methods: Responses were collected from 604 patients and 154 providers engaged in clinical care at one of three participating Johns Hopkins Medicine outpatient psychiatric clinics between January 2020–March 2021. Survey data were collected by self-report via Qualtrics or telephone follow-up. Results: Respondents were predominately female and White. Over 70% of patients and providers were generally satisfied with telepsychiatry. However, providers were more likely to favor in-person care over telepsychiatry for post-pandemic care 48% to 17% respectively, while 35% rated both modalities equivalently. Patients were more evenly divided with 45% preferring telepsychiatry compared to 42% for in-person care, and only 13% rating them equivalently. Among providers, technical difficulties were significantly associated with both less satisfaction and lower preference for telepsychiatry [odds ratio for satisfaction (ORS) = 0.12; odds ratio for preference (ORP) = 0.13]. For patients, factors significantly associated with both lower satisfaction and lower preference for telepsychiatry included technical difficulties (ORS = 0.20; ORP = 0.41), unstable access to the internet (ORS = 0.46; ORP = 0.50), worsening depression (ORS = 0.38; ORP = 0.36), and worsening anxiety (ORS = 0.41; ORP = 0.40). Factors associated with greater satisfaction and higher preference for telepsychiatry among patients included higher education (ORS = 2.13; ORP = 1.96) and a decrease in technical difficulties over time (ORS = 2.86; ORP = 2.35). Discussion: Patients and providers were satisfied with telepsychiatry. However, there were greater differences between them in preferences for continuing to use telepsychiatry post-pandemic. These findings highlight factors that influence patient and provider preferences and should be addressed to optimize the use of telepsychiatry in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1237249
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - 2023


  • quality improvement
  • survey
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine
  • telepsychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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