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Acceptance of e-consult for Substance Use Disorders during the COVID 19 pandemic: A study from India.


ABSTRACT: Objectives: The COVID 19 pandemic has created challenges in providing timely care for patients and families with Substance Use disorders (SUDs). With the difficulties in face-to-face consultations because of social distancing measures, telepsychiatry services can be beneficial. The study proposes implementing an e-consult for SUD management and measuring its acceptability among the health care providers (HCPs) in India.

Methods: The mobile-based e-consult for SUD, connecting HCPs with addiction specialists, was implemented during the COVID lockdown period in India from 25 March to 31 May (71 days). A total of 153 HCPs, i.e., doctors, nurses, counselors, consulted for 110 cases of SUD. Sixty-eight provided feedback by filling the survey form derived from the Service User Technology Acceptability Questionnaire (SUTAQ).

Result: More than 60% of HCPs reported overall high satisfaction. More than 98% providers reported high acceptability concerning"access to specialist care," "trusted to work appropriately", "saving time," "would like torecommend to others," easier to get touch with a specialist." The doctors reported significantly high acceptability about "access to specialist care," "satisfied with recommendations,"recommend to others" compared to other HCPs.

Conclusion: During COVID 19 pandemic lockdown in India, e-consult was an acceptable tool in managing SUDs. The majority of HCPs could discuss their cases with addiction experts. There is a need to expand this further in other mental health conditions.

SUBMITTER: Sahu P 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7557176 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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