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Tag: rural

Expanding Telemedicine For Opioid Use Disorder

Article Excerpt: Under the medical supervision of University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Professor Eric Weintraub, MD, the mobile treatment team sees about 150 clients a month in Caroline County. With the addition of a second mobile unit, services will be extended to patients in neighboring Talbot County, and in the Chestertown area of Kent County… Weintraub, who is an associate professor of psychiatry at UMSOM, has helped develop innovative programs in providing medication assisted treatment to underserved rural areas via telemedicine across Maryland.

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Article Source: University of Maryland News


Mixed methods evaluation of vaping and tobacco product use prevention interventions among youth in the Florida 4-H program

Bteddini DS, LeLaurin JH, Chi X, Hall JM, Theis RP, Gurka MJ, Lee J-H, Mobley EM, Khalil GE, Polansky CJ, Kellner AM, Fahnlander AM, Kelder SH, Fiellin LE, Gutter MS, Shenkman EA, & Salloum RG. (2023). Mixed methods evaluation of vaping and tobacco product use prevention interventions among youth in the Florida 4-H program. Addictive Behaviors, 141, 107637–107637.

This pilot study tested the delivery feasibility and outcomes of two programs, CATCH My Breath and smokeSCREEN, among youth in rural settings in Florida. Eighty-two youth participants (aged 11-17) were recruited from rural youth clubs in Florida and randomly assigned to one of three arms: CATCH My Breath, smokeSCREEN, and control (receiving educational flyers). CATCH My Breath and smokescreen are prevention interventions that focus on promoting healthy behaviors and increasing awareness of vaping and tobacco use. CATCH My Breath consists of four interactive modules on vaping prevention delivered over Zoom group sessions weekly for four w eeks. smokeSCREEN is a smoking and vaping prevention video game and was delivered individually to adolescents. Participants from both intervention arms were also invited join group Zoom discussions weekly for four weeks to discuss the game. Out of the participants in the intervention arms, 83.7% attended the majority of group Zoom sessions. After the intervention, CATCH My Breath participants showed significant improvement in tobacco knowledge (post-pre=3.3, p<.01) and risk perceptions for other flavored tobacco products (post-pre=1.6, p<.05). Post intervention, smokeSCREEN participants demonstrated significantly improved tobacco knowledge (post-pre=5.0, p<.01), e-cigarettes knowledge (post-pre=2.8, p<.01) and risk perception towards e-cigarettes (post-pre=2.8, p<.05). In the control group, only risk perception to cigarettes significantly changed (post-pre=1.1, p<.01). Findings show positive feasibility and immediate positive impact of these digital intervention games augmented by virtual group sessions. Future work is needed to differentiate the impact of digital games from that of virtual group discussions. Investigations with larger samples and a longer follow-up period to evaluate longer-term impact are needed.


Telepsychiatry Collaborative Care Found Effective for Treatment of Complex Disorders in Rural Areas

Article Excerpt: Telepsychiatry collaborative care (TCC) can help primary care clinicians working in rural or underserved areas to identify and treat patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder with more confidence. These were the findings of a report published today in Psychiatric Services, which describes how care managers, primary care clinicians, and telepsychiatrists work together to support these patients.

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Article Source: Psychiatric News


Digital Therapy Treatments Give Rit Researchers Tools to Reach Rural Communities in N.Y. and N.H

Article Excerpt: Rochester Institute of Technology behavioral health researchers are providing remote mental health care and addiction therapy to rural communities in New York and New Hampshire and training for therapists to deploy the digital treatments at their clinics. The digital tools developed by RIT deliver motivational therapy and teach coping skills using telehealth, customizable digital coaches, and 3D simulations showing the effect of drugs and alcohol on the brain, heart, and lungs.

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Article Source: EurekAlert!


Willingness to pay for a telemedicine delivered healthy lifestyle programme

Rauch VK, Roderka M, Weintraub AB, Curtis K, Kotz DF, Rothstein RI, Batsis JA. Willingness to pay for a telemedicine-delivered healthy lifestyle programme. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 2022;28(7):517-523. doi:10.1177/1357633X20943337

This study explored how willing rural adults were to pay for a remote weight-management program. Researchers conducted a single arm pilot study with 27 adult patients recruited from a medical weight and wellness center. Participants received a 16-week intervention focused on healthy behavior changes, including mindfulness, movement, problem-solving, and nutrition. In the program, a health coach, registered dietician, and nurse exercise specialist delivered weekly 30-minute one-on-one telehealth visits with participants. Researchers collected willingness-to-pay in a two-item survey at baseline and week 16 that asked: 1) at what point they would trade in person visits for telehealth based on commute time to reach the medical center, and 2) whether they would be willing to engage in a telehealth visit with an upfront cost for services. Participants who commute 30-45 minutes reported the highest willingness to trade in-person visits with telemedicine out of all groups. There was a significant increase in participants who would be willing to pay $30 or less for telemedicine from baseline (58%) to 16-week follow-up (69%). There was no significant difference over time in participants’ willingness to pay for telemedicine based on commute times. In qualitative interviews with participants, a majority found the program helpful. Participants also reported the intervention helped reduce travel time and expenses and increased flexibility for families and work. Results demonstrated that in rural areas, a digital weight management program could be acceptable and cost-effective. Research with a larger sample size and longer duration is needed to more accurately gauge patients’ willingness-to-pay for remote program delivery.


Examining Social Media Experiences and Attitudes Toward Technology-Based Interventions for Reducing Social Isolation Among LGBTQ Youth Living in Rural United States: An Online Qualitative Study

Escobar-Viera CG, Choukas-Bradley S, Sidani J, Maheux AJ, Roberts SR, Rollman BL (2022). Examining Social Media Experiences and Attitudes Toward Technology-Based Interventions for Reducing Social Isolation Among LGBTQ Youth Living in Rural United States: An Online Qualitative Study. Frontiers in Digital Health, 4.

This study examined rural LGBTQ youth’s social media experiences and attitudes toward technology-based interventions for reducing perceived isolation. Researchers recruited via social media advertisements a total of 20 participants who identified as LGBTQ youth (14-19 years old), lived in rural areas, and screened positive for perceived social isolation. Qualitative interviews conducted virtually focused on social media experiences, personal strategies to improve social media experiences, and perspectives about digital intervention delivery. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis. Three themes emerged from interviews: 1) positive representation of LGBTQ groups on social media are important, 2) content from people with shared experiences promotes experiences of support, and 3) lack of feedback about one’s experiences reduces perceived support. Participants discussed advantages and disadvantages of intervention delivery via mobile apps, social media, chatbots, and dedicated websites. Overall, rural-living LGBTQ youth who feel socially isolated turn to social media to seek support and connect in meaningful ways. Study findings identified key components to a positive social media experience among LGBTQ young people, which can inform future intervention development. Results also indicated a combination of delivery modalities may foster engagement of rural-living LGBTQ young people in digital interventions to improve social isolation outcomes.


Use of Virtual Care Tools in Some Underserved Populations is Rising

Article Excerpt: While evaluating consumer adoption of digital health in 2021, researchers from Rock Health found that certain populations, such as Medicaid members and LGBQA+ individuals, are using tools like live video telemedicine and wearables at higher rates than their counterparts. Rock Health has conducted a survey every year since 2015 that aims to uncover trends in digital health adoption and use. The 2021 Digital Health Consumer Adoption Survey was completed last August and polled 7,980 adult consumers. Researchers acknowledged that the report does not consider factors such as disabilities, nor is it representative of all communities. The first main takeaway was that rural communities are still facing barriers to virtual care. Specifically, the survey found that those who reside in rural areas do not partake in video telehealth visits as often as their urban and suburban counterparts, own fewer wearables, and do not track health metrics digitally as often.

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


Doctors, Companies Push to Keep Looser, Pandemic-Era Rules for Prescribing Opioid Addiction Treatment via Telemedicine

Article Excerpt: It got a lot easier for patients with opioid addiction to get their medication remotely during the pandemic — and now addiction doctors and telehealth companies are pushing Congress to make those flexibilities permanent. Before Covid-19, patients had to see a doctor in person for prescriptions to help them with their addictions, like buprenorphine. Now, at least temporarily, they can get them via telehealth appointments. Experts say loosening the rules helped eliminate longstanding barriers to addiction care, like a lack of transportation or a shortage of clinicians who prescribe medically assisted treatment, especially in rural communities. But the changes are temporary, tied to the state of “emergency” associated with the pandemic — and proponents want them made permanent.

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Article Source: STAT News


The Implication of Technology in Healthcare

Article Excerpt: There’s a lot of buzz about the internet, including the fact that a lot of it has been very successful in bringing together healthcare information technology. But this is not what we should be thinking about when we talk about healthcare. There’s so much more to it than that. There are some very real problems: lack of access to information, lack of trust in doctors and hospitals, lack of access to care, etc. We need to take a hard look at these things and understand what they mean for patients and the healthcare system, before we think about building an internet-based solution to them. Some of those issues have been well-documented: for example, access to care is often limited by cost; hospitals are increasingly turning to telehealth services instead of doctors; people in rural areas cannot access health services as easily as people in urban areas due to cost; there’s a lot more going on here than just information technology.

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Article Source: Digital Salutem