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.