The University of Washington Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation & Wellness Research Center has researched ways to deliver cognitive-behavioral, psychoeducational, & mindfulness-based interventions for pain, fatigue, and depression via telehealth. Over the past 10 years, we have conducted multiple randomized clinical trials, using telephone and videoconference (groups and one-on-one) to deliver our study interventions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now moving most of our clinic patients to telehealth visits to protect the health of patients, staff, and providers. Many of you are likely doing the same. We want to share a few tips and resources we’ve learned along the way.
Tips & tricks to keep in mind…
- New to telehealth? Worried it may be less effective than in person care? The evidence in behavioral health suggests that telehealth is an efficacious, well-received, and shows similar ratings of therapeutic alliance (rapport).
- How you conduct the first telehealth session is key. Instill the expectation that telehealth works and that the session will be quite similar to an in-person visit. See the images/thread for ideas on how to set up the first session.
- Telehealth lends to interruptions. Cat walking on keyboard? Cooking while meditating? Driving? Early on discuss how to prevent or manage potential interruptions.
Learn how to set yourself and your patients up for success when conducting telehealth visits:
Looking for resources for providers?
- Take a look at these resources and guides to help providers, whether they’re using telehealth for the first time or are experienced telehealthers looking to improve their practice. Editable versions are available when possible to adapt for use for academic or clinical settings.
- Telehealth Guidelines & Managing Challenges
- Telehealth Guidelines for Group-delivered Videoconference Interventions (PDF)
- Telehealth Guidelines for Group-delivered Videoconference Interventions (Word Document)
- Zoom Protocol for Clinicians (PDF)
- Zoom Protocol for Clinicians (Word Document)
- American Psychological Association (APA) Office and Technology Checklist for Telepsychological Services
Looking for resources to adapt for your patients or research participants?
- Take a look at the guides we’ve developed for use with patients or research participants. Editable versions are available when possible to adapt for use for academic or clinical settings.