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Communication

Patient Experiences with the Transition to Telephone Counseling during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI 02912, USA
2
CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, Cranston, RI 02910, USA
3
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Temple University College of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Daniele Giansanti
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060663
Received: 28 April 2021 / Revised: 29 May 2021 / Accepted: 31 May 2021 / Published: 2 June 2021
Background: To identify and document the treatment experiences among patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in the context of the rapid move from in-person to telephone counseling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Participants (n = 237) completed a survey with open-ended questions that included the following domains: (1) satisfaction with telephone counseling, (2) perceived convenience, (3) changes to the therapeutic relationship, (4) perceived impact on substance use recovery, and (5) general feedback. Responses were coded using thematic analysis. Codes were subsequently organized into themes and subthemes (covering 98% of responses). Interrater reliability for coding of participants’ responses ranged from 0.89 to 0.95. Results: Overall, patients reported that telephone counseling improved the therapeutic experience. Specifically, 74% of respondents were coded as providing responses consistently indicating “positive valency”. “Positive valency” responses include: (1) feeling supported, (2) greater comfort and privacy, (3) increased access to counselors, and (4) resolved transportation barriers. Conversely, “negative valency” responses include: (1) impersonal experience and (2) reduced privacy. Conclusions: Telephone counseling presents its own set of challenges that should be investigated further to improve the quality of care and long-term patient outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: opioid use disorder treatment; telehealth services; qualitative; needs assessment opioid use disorder treatment; telehealth services; qualitative; needs assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, A.W.; Walton, M.; Hoadley, A.; DelaCuesta, C.; Hurley, L.; Martin, R. Patient Experiences with the Transition to Telephone Counseling during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Healthcare 2021, 9, 663. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060663

AMA Style

Kang AW, Walton M, Hoadley A, DelaCuesta C, Hurley L, Martin R. Patient Experiences with the Transition to Telephone Counseling during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Healthcare. 2021; 9(6):663. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060663

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kang, Augustine W., Mary Walton, Ariel Hoadley, Courtney DelaCuesta, Linda Hurley, and Rosemarie Martin. 2021. "Patient Experiences with the Transition to Telephone Counseling during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Healthcare 9, no. 6: 663. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060663

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