An observational study of the impact of COVID-19 and the rapid implementation of telehealth on community mental health center providers
March 11, 2021
Marisa Sklar, Kendal Reeder, Kristine Carandang, Mark G Ehrhart, Gregory A Aarons
Sklar et al. distributed online surveys to community mental health center (CHMC) providers from six centers to understand their perceptions regarding the transition to telehealth during COVID-19. The questions covered topics regarding perceptions of personal risk, COVID-19 rumination, work changes due to COVID, burnout, perceived organizational support, telehealth self-efficacy, collective efficacy, telehealth benefits, transition to telehealth, and open-ended survey questions. Most questions were measured using a 5-point response scale. Provider scores were lowest for COVID-19 rumination (x̄ = 1.10) and perceptions of personal risk (x̄ = 1.41), and highest for telehealth beliefs (x̄ = 2.89) and telehealth self-efficacy (x̄ = 2.68). Three major themes were revealed related to the impact COVID had on provider work, which included the impact the transition had on interactions with patients (including technological barriers), changes in provider expectations regarding productivity (including reduced productivity and increased demands), and challenges maintaining a work-life balance. Three other themes related to the delivery of evidence-based practice (EBP) were difficulty delivering certain therapies (i.e., play therapy), potential limitations to confidentiality and lack of privacy, and challenges engaging children in treatment. Overall, providers viewed the transition to telehealth positively, though there were new challenges with engagement and use of EBP.
Sklar M, Reeder K, Carandang K, Ehrhart MG, Aarons GA. An observational study of the impact of COVID-19 and the rapid implementation of telehealth on community mental health center providers. Implement Sci Commun 2021; 2: 1–10.