Geriatric Telepsychiatry: Opportunities, Models, and Outcomes

  • Donald M. Hilty
  • Shilpa Srinivasan
  • Terry Rabinowitz


Contemporary healthcare is patient-centered in terms of quality care, access, and affordable options. Stepped and integrated care models emphasize customized care, interdisciplinary teamwork, and integration of services based on co-location, shared responsibility, and funding. Telepsychiatry (TP) is as effective as in-person care and has been broadly used to provide psychosomatic medicine (formerly consultation-liaison psychiatry) to primary care and other healthcare settings. The literature reveals that TP leverages a wide range of treatments at a distance to clinics, nursing homes, and patient homes and how telemedicine models of care provide flexibility for TP services to patients, providers, and caregivers. There is steady growth of the TP evidence base, and geriatric patients are as open to using TP as other populations and report high satisfaction. TP outcomes for geriatric patients are comparable to in-person care and quite in parallel with outcomes for patients of all ages. TP also enables more patient points of entry, addresses patient-provider needs-skill mismatches, and leverages other resources. Telemedicine and TP overcome geographical, physical limitations and access to care obstacles. More formal TP research studies and health services effectiveness studies are needed for geriatric patients in culturally diverse populations, related to team-based or interdisciplinary care, and employing full stepped or integrated care models.


Older, adults, geriatric, mental, health Assessment, evaluation Treatment, integrated, models, stepped, technology, telemedicine, telemental health Telepsychiatry 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald M. Hilty
    • 1
  • Shilpa Srinivasan
    • 2
  • Terry Rabinowitz
    • 3
  1. 1.Northern California Veterans Affairs Health SystemMatherUSA
  2. 2.Palmetto HealthColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.University of Vermont Medical CenterBurlingtonUSA

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