Attitudes of the mentally ill about utilizing telemental services in frontier states

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore the feelings, opinions and attitudes of mentally ill people living in frontier states about telemental health service to access their mental health care. The current study explores the feelings of people diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses. Participants in this study were chosen in a purposive criterion sample, and snowball sampling. This study included nine participants aged from 36 years of age to 68 years of age, diagnosed with a mental illness including, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This study was limited by the numbers of willing participants with a mental illness living within the frontier areas of the state the study was conducted in. This limitation is overcome by utilizing the snowball effect for recruitment of willing participants. Eight of the nine participants of this study were willing to use telemental health for their mental health care. Others commented that they were acceptant and willing to utilize telemental health services for their mental health care needs after a period of time to build rapport with their provider. The major themes developed from the participant interviews were; savings, convenience, privacy and anonymity, rapport, crisis intervention and technology. The participants voiced an opinion that the general savings of time, money, travel and hours of work saved was a part of their acceptance of telemental health. The themes of acceptance can be developed in to methods to improve future models of telemental health. By understanding what would make this treatment modality more acceptable future providers can tailor a telemental health program that is fully acceptable to the clients who will utilize it.




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