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By Jenna Sauter
Cronkite News 

Teletherapy expanded during the pandemic, but is it effective for behavioral health?

 

Last updated 3/28/2022 at 3:37pm

Jennifer Alvarez/Cronkite News

The pandemic pushed telehealth into the mainstream for all kinds of conditions, as stay-at-home restrictions forced some medical facilities to close and new COVID-19 variants kept patients at home. Dr. Bart Demaerschalk, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, says telemedicine can reduce costs.

PHOENIX-Telehealth has been a widely used resource during the pandemic, but as providers and policymakers consider its future, some continue to weigh the pros and cons of treating certain conditions from a distance-particularly mental illness and substance use.

"Patients have tended to be OK with teletherapy, but a lot of therapists feel something is lost relative to in-person therapy," said Dr. John Markowitz, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and a research psychiatrist for the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

"The major advantage of teletherapy is that it maint...



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