USING TELEMEDICINE IN TREATING PTSD

Telemedicine is the newest trend in treating PTSD. Video teleconferencing (VTC) allows a single person or group of individuals in one location and a clinician in a different location to see and hear each other in real time.

Telemedicine allows veterans living in remote areas to access treatment services they otherwise would have to travel miles to reach. Telemedicine services may include clinical assessment, individual or group psychotherapy, educational interventions, cognitive testing, and general psychiatry. The major benefit is that these services eliminate travel expense that may be disruptive or overly expensive.

Research comparing VTC and real-time methods of PTSD assessment has shown the methods yield comparable results. While providing treatment using telemedicine may need more research, it does provide an alternative for individuals who have difficulty accessing treatment even though they live in remote areas.

Telemedicine appears to offer a more convenient and economical way to provide or supplement PTSD care services. For patients that live remote distances from VA Med Centers, this is one way to make treatment for PTSD accessible.

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