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Telepsychology in Australia: 2020 vision

Simpson, S. and Reid, C. (2014) Telepsychology in Australia: 2020 vision. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22 (6). pp. 306-309.

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The current roll-out of broadband across Australia provides new opportunities for psychologists to reach out to residents in remote and rural areas. With the advent of internet protocol (IP)-based videoconferencing, telepsychology is becoming more accessible and affordable, and a potential solution to those in remote areas who require access to specialist assessment and psychotherapy services. Telepsychology represents a high-quality/low-cost model of service delivery. Findings to date suggest that outcome might be equivalent to in-person therapy across a range of client groups both using standardised assessments and evidence-based therapies. Studies have consistently shown that clients rate high levels of satisfaction and therapeutic rapport. However, uptake among psychologists has been slow. This article provides a synthesis of the gradual growth of telepsychology in Australia. It identifies factors that hinder the development of telepsychology and outlines the main arguments for developing this as a model for the provision of psychology across remote and rural Australia.

The authors draw on their own recent experiences in developing collaborative telepsychology services to make recommendations for the future of telepsychology in Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Copyright: © 2014 National Rural Health Alliance Inc
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