Role of the Telemental Health Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review

Naureen AKBER ALI, Adeel KHOJA, Fizzah KAZIM
2021 32(4): 275-282
DOI: 10.5080/u26021
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Objective:: The COVID-19 pandemic has directed the use of
telemedicine and digital mental health services to meet the needs of
people in order to maintain physical distancing by preventing person
to person contact. The aim of this review is to highlight the role of
telemental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method: An electronic search was carried out between January 01, 2020
and October 31, 2020 to explore the utilization of telehealth services for
mental health problems among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The primary source of literature was the structured search of major
electronic databases from the MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL Plus,
Science Direct and the Web of Science. We included nine published
studies meeting the the eligibility criteria.
Results: The role of telehealth identified in this review mainly focused
on the applicability of this modality for assessing and managing various
mental health problems in these unprecedented times. It also pointed
out that the provision of telemental health support reduced the burden
of mental health diseases and promoted the wellbeing of the individual.
Further, it was witnessed that patients preferred remote consultation
as compared to face-to-face visits in order to avoid contracting the
virus and found online mental health interventions and psychological
counseling very helpful to cope up with the current crisis.
Conclusion: The current COVID-19 lockdown has changed the
management of the mental health problems of patients. The use of this
innovative modality prevents transmission of infection and provides
timely treatment to the community members most in need.