This article published in BMJ Open aimed to explore the experiences of service users, carers and staff seeking or providing secondary mental health services during the Covid-19 pandemic. The authors found that patient and carer experiences of remote care were mixed. Some service users valued the convenience of remote methods as it allowed them to maintain contact with familiar clinicians, but most participants commented that a lack of non-verbal cues and the loss of a therapeutic ‘safe space’ challenged therapeutic relationship building, assessments and identification of deteriorating mental well-being.
The study highlights the importance of taking a tailored, personal approach to decision making in this area, and the authors state that future research should focus on which types of consultations best suit face-to-face interaction, and for whom and why.
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