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JMIR Form Res ; 5(10): e31862, 2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484964


BACKGROUND: Approximately two-thirds of patients with major depressive disorder do not achieve remission during their first treatment. There has been increasing interest in the use of digital, artificial intelligence-powered clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) to assist physicians in their treatment selection and management, improving the personalization and use of best practices such as measurement-based care. Previous literature shows that for digital mental health tools to be successful, the tool must be easy for patients and physicians to use and feasible within existing clinical workflows. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine the feasibility of an artificial intelligence-powered CDSS, which combines the operationalized 2016 Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments guidelines with a neural network-based individualized treatment remission prediction. METHODS: Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study was adapted to be completed entirely remotely. A total of 7 physicians recruited outpatients diagnosed with major depressive disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition criteria. Patients completed a minimum of one visit without the CDSS (baseline) and 2 subsequent visits where the CDSS was used by the physician (visits 1 and 2). The primary outcome of interest was change in appointment length after the introduction of the CDSS as a proxy for feasibility. Feasibility and acceptability data were collected through self-report questionnaires and semistructured interviews. RESULTS: Data were collected between January and November 2020. A total of 17 patients were enrolled in the study; of the 17 patients, 14 (82%) completed the study. There was no significant difference in appointment length between visits (introduction of the tool did not increase appointment length; F2,24=0.805; mean squared error 58.08; P=.46). In total, 92% (12/13) of patients and 71% (5/7) of physicians felt that the tool was easy to use; 62% (8/13) of patients and 71% (5/7) of physicians rated that they trusted the CDSS. Of the 13 patients, 6 (46%) felt that the patient-clinician relationship significantly or somewhat improved, whereas 7 (54%) felt that it did not change. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that the integration of the tool does not significantly increase appointment length and suggest that the CDSS is easy to use and may have positive effects on the patient-physician relationship for some patients. The CDSS is feasible and ready for effectiveness studies. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04061642;

J ECT ; 38(1): 52-59, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406523


OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the provision of essential and potentially life-saving procedural treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). We surveyed ECT providers across Canada to understand how the first wave of the pandemic affected ECT delivery between mid-March 2020 and mid-May 2020. METHODS: The survey was administered to ECT team members and decision makers at 107 Canadian health care centers with a focus on 5 domains: operations, decision-making, hospital resources, ECT procedure, and patient impact. Responses were obtained from 72 institutions, and collected answers were used to derive representative responses reflecting the situation at each ECT center. For specific domains, responses were split into 2 databases representing the perspective of psychiatrists (n = 67 centers) and anesthesiologists (n = 24 centers). RESULTS: Provision of ECT decreased in 64% centers and was completely suspended in 27% of centers after the onset of the pandemic. Outpatient and maintenance ECT were more affected than inpatient and acute ECT. Programs reported a high level of collaboration between psychiatry and hospital leadership (59%) but a limited input from clinical ethicists (18%). Decisions were mostly made ad hoc leading to variability across institutions in adopted resource allocation, physical location of ECT delivery, and triaging frameworks. The majority of centers considered ECT to be aerosol-generating and incorporated changes to airway management. CONCLUSIONS: Electroconvulsive therapy services in Canada were markedly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The variability in decision-making across centers warrants the development of a rational approach toward offering ECT in pandemic contexts.

COVID-19 , Electroconvulsive Therapy , Canada , Electroconvulsive Therapy/methods , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
Psychopharmacol Bull ; 51(1): 59-68, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1200630


Background: The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) led healthcare providers, including mental health providers, across the U.S. to swiftly shift to telemedicine. Objectives: This shift gave our Department of Psychiatry a chance to better understand key challenges and opportunities vis-à-vis virtual mental healthcare. We aimed to obtain provider feedback on the use of telepsychiatry and to learn from the provider perspective about patient experiences with video visits. This information will be used to inform the telemedicine strategy at a systems level within our psychiatry department, our academic health system, as well as the field of telemedicine as a whole. Design and Sample: A 22-item online questionnaire comprising 16 quantitative and six qualitative items was distributed to providers currently using video visits to provide care. Results: A total of 89 mental health providers completed the questionnaire. Outcomes demonstrated that while providers perceive challenges associated with virtual care (e.g., fatigue, technology-related issues, and age-related concerns), they also recognize a number of benefits to themselves and their patients (e.g., convenience and increased access). Overall, provider satisfaction, comfort, and willingness to use telepsychiatry was high. Conclusions: The vast majority of providers adapted quickly to the use of virtual platforms; many endorse advantages that suggest virtual care will continue to be a modality they provide in the future, post-COVID-19. It will be important to continue to evaluate aspects of virtual care that may limit clinical assessments and to optimize use to improve access, convenience, and cost-efficiency of mental healthcare delivery.

COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Mental Disorders/therapy , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Psychiatry/methods , Psychiatry/statistics & numerical data