Clients’ experiences of telehealth during COVID-19
Telehealth refers to the delivery of healthcare services via phone or video conferencing. Many alcohol and other drug services rapidly implemented telehealth during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, there has been limited research exploring alcohol and other drug treatment clients’ experiences of telehealth during COVID-19.
Funded by the Victorian Department of Health, this project aimed to explore alcohol and other drug treatment clients' experiences of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify their preferences for how future telehealth services are delivered. Participants who had received telehealth care from Victorian alcohol and other drug treatment services completed a survey and a qualitative interview to share their perspectives.
The results of this study reiterated the value and usefulness of telehealth delivery of alcohol and other drug treatment. However, a range of contextual, access, technical and communication challenges were experienced by some participants. Rather than viewing telehealth and in-person care as mutually exclusive, there was a strong preference for flexibility and hybrid care options that include telehealth and in-person care in the future. Based on the findings of the study, a range of specific suggestions were made which may help to inform telehealth care in the future.
Dr Tony Barnett, Dr Joshua Garfield, Dr Michael Savic, Rachel Petukhova, Jaimie Woolley, A/Prof Victoria Manning
Learn more about this project
Barnett, A., Garfield, J., Savic, M., Petukhova, R., Woolley, J., Manning, V. Alcohol and other drug treatment clients’ experiences of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic: Summary report. Richmond, Victoria: Turning Point.