Study: Telehealth increased mental healthcare during pandemic

Mental health treatment appears to have increased as a result of expanded telehealth use during the pandemic, a Jan. 6 JAMA Health Forum study found.

Telehealth more than made up for the drop in in-person services from January 2020 to December 2020, the researchers from Rand Corp. and Castlight Health determined. The treatment rates for anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder, PTSD and major depressive disorder all went up during that time period.

"Our findings highlight a remarkable transition in the U.S. mental health system from in-person to virtual care," said Christopher Whaley, PhD, senior author of the study and an economist at Rand, in a Jan. 6 Rand news release shared with Becker's.

People in rural areas and older adults were less likely to use telehealth services, according to the study of 5.14 million commercially insured adults.

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