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Use of telepsychiatry for the management of mental health problems in migrants 

Use of telepsychiatry for the management of mental health problems in migrants
Use of telepsychiatry for the management of mental health problems in migrants

Keith Hariman

, Antonio Ventriglio

, and Dinesh Bhugra

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date: 18 May 2021

An estimated 3.3% of the global population lives outside their place of birth. This heterogenous group includes not only high-skilled labour and expats, but also refugees and asylum seekers. Research has shown that the prevalence of certain mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, may be higher in migrants than in the general population. However, some migrants might not be able to receive the relevant mental health treatment owing to various social, cultural, and physical barriers. One possible solution is the use of telepsychiatry, defined as the delivery of psychiatric intervention from a distance. This includes real-time videoconferencing, pre-recorded videos, or even decision support systems. This technology has the ability to connect migrants with a clinician who understands their language and culture, thereby improving the patient satisfaction and outcome. The benefits of telepsychiatry, along with the challenges in its implementation, will be discussed in this chapter, as will potential problems related to ethics, regulation, and confidentiality.

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