A study was conducted in South Carolina from April 2007
to July 2011, with 241 veterans aged 58 years old or
older. Of these 241 veterans:
- 71% are rural residents
- 40% are African American
- 21% have an income less than $15,000
- 70% have a disability
- 67% are dual users of Medicaid
One group received telehealth treatment via tablet or
analogue videophone (to account for any veterans without
broadband internet access), while the other group
received face-to-face treatment. Researchers found that:
- There was no significant difference in the two
groups' response to treatment.
- 90% of the telehealth patients saw at least a 50%
reduction in symptom severity.
- There were no significant differences in quality of
life, patient satisfaction, or treatment credibility.
- Cost trajectories over time for
inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy were not different
between the two groups.
Researchers concluded that evidence-based behavioral
activation via telehealth is an effective way for elderly
veterans to overcome barriers to care and receive
psychotherapy in their homes. The use of telehealth did
not adversely influence patients' quality of life,
satisfaction with care, or cost of care over time,
suggesting that home-based telehealth is an effective way
to address mental health needs of rural patients.
For more information on program results:
Egede, L.E., Gebregziabher, M., Walker, R.J., Payne,
E.H., Acierno, R., & Frueh, B.C. (2017). Trajectory
of Cost Overtime after Psychotherapy for Depression in
Older Veterans via Telemedicine. Journal of Affective
Disorders, 207, 157-162.
Egede, L.E., Acierno, R., Knapp, R.G., Walker, R.J.,
Payne, E.H., & Frueh, B.C. (2016). Psychotherapy for
Depression in Older Veterans via Telemedicine: Effect on
Quality of Life, Satisfaction, Treatment Credibility, and
Service Delivery Perception. Journal of Clinical
Psychiatry, 77(12), 1704-1711.
Egede, L.E., Acierno, R., Knapp, R.G., Lejuez, C.,
Hernandez-Tejada, M., Payne, E.H., & Frueh, B.C.
(2015). Psychotherapy for Depression in Older Veterans
via Telemedicine: a Randomised, Open-Label,
Non-Inferiority Trial. The Lancet Psychiatry,