RESEARCH ARTICLE


The Effectiveness of Telephone-based Psychological Services to COVID-19



Mojgan Khademi1, Roya Vaziri-Harami1, *, Amin Mahouram Mashadi1, Pegah Seif1, Abbas Babazadehdezfoly2
1 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Clinical Research Development Unit, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


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Creative Commons License
© 2023 khademi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; E-mail: md.r.vaziriharami@gmail.com


Abstract

Background:

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of mental health services, leading to the development of telepsychiatry.

Aim:

The present study investigates the effectiveness of telephone-delivered treatment for psychological disorders of COVID-19 survivors in Tehran, the capital of Iran.

Methods:

In this non-randomized controlled trial, 91 COVID-19 survivors, primarily residents were enrolled. Participants completed a baseline questionnaire and a psychological screening questionnaire. The intervention included the telephone-based psychological services provided by trained psychiatric residents. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist (PCL) was administered to assess the presence of PTSD symptoms. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire.

Results:

The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) adjusted mean difference was significantly lower in the intervention group than in the control group. There was a significant negative correlation between the Spost-GHQ score and history of going to the clinic and history of psychiatric disorders, but no relationship with the history of hospitalization. All participants completed the satisfaction form, with almost half of them being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the telehealth calls.

Conclusion:

Telephonic delivery of psychological services showed an effective way of providing evidence-based psychological support during the pandemic. This telehealth program can offer much-needed assistance to individuals with COVID-19 improving their psychological wellbeing.

Keywords: Telehealth, Telemental health, Telepsychiatry, COVID-19, PTSD, Psychological disorders.