Namkee Choi
Dr. Namkee Choi

Dr. Namkee Choi talked with the Texas Tribune about her research on the effectiveness of online mental health therapy on older adults’ depression, as opposed to in-home or clinic-based therapy. One of her recent studies showed that home-based online therapy could be an effective and low-cost method that would help low-income and home-bound older adults access mental health care.

“Telepsychotherapy, telepsychiatry, tele mental health, whatever name you call it, that’s been around a long time. But before my testing, the older adults still had to show up in a clinic setting where they have all the equipment in front of them and they connect with remote providers. And that’s the same as really going to a clinic for psychotherapy face-to-face with a provider. That’s not going to really help older adults who are homebound. So that’s why I tested in-home, that is, home-based telepsychotherapy,” Choi said during the interview (read the full interview here).

Choi has been recently awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to compare acceptability, clinical effectiveness, treatment cost, and budget impact of two tele-delivered treatment delivery models: problem-solving therapy by licensed clinicians, and self-care management support by trained lay mental health workers/advisors.