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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of mental healthcare, while at the same time increasing the global burden of disease. However, the advent of remote technologies to support clinical care and the availability of real-world datasets have enabled a rapid response to improve mental healthcare delivery.In this symposium, leading experts in mental healthcare data science will address the new technologies which have emerged during the pandemic, insights into their immediate impacts, and the opportunity to support better personalisation and access to mental healthcare in the future.Dr Rashmi Patel is an MRC HDR UK Fellow, general psychiatrist and EPA Research Prize winner. He will speak about insights from EHR data during the pandemic and how real-time data visualisation could help to reduce treatment delays in serious mental illness.Dr David Rigby is Chair of the Special Interest Group on Digital Psychiatry at the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists. He will review the impact of digital psychiatry on recruitment and the benefits and challenges of telepsychiatry during the COVID-19 pandemic.Dr Miguel Alvarez-Mon is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Alcalá. He will present, with original research, how social media contents may have contributed to misinformation during the pandemic and how they could impact public mental health.Dr Tanjir Rashid Soron is founder of the Telepsychiatry Research and Innovation Network and will share his experience of leading “Monerdaktar”, the largest online mental health service in Bangladesh, and how it improved access to mental healthcare during COVID-19.
S0137 - Remote Mental Healthcare During COVID-19: Insights from Electronic Health Record (EHR) Data
Remote consultation technology has been rapidly adopted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some healthcare settings have faced barriers in implementation. We present a study to investigate changes in rates of remote consultation during the pandemic using a large electronic health record (EHR) dataset.
The Clinical Record Interactive Search tool (CRIS) was used to examine de-identified EHR data of people receiving mental healthcare in South London, UK. Data from around 37,500 patients were analysed for each week from 7th January 2019 and 20th September 2020 using linear regression and locally estimated scatterplot smoothing (LOESS) to investigate changes in the number of clinical contacts (in-person, remote or non-attended) with mental healthcare professionals and prescribing of antipsychotics and mood stabilisers. The data are presented in an interactive dashboard: http://rpatel.co.uk/TelepsychiatryDashboard.
The frequency of in-person contacts was substantially reduced following the onset of the pandemic (β coefficient: -5829.6 contacts, 95% CI -6919.5 to -4739.6, p<0.001), while the frequency of remote contacts increased significantly (β coefficient: 3338.5 contacts, 95% CI 3074.4 to 3602.7, p<0.001). Rates of remote consultation were lower in older adults than in working age adults, children and adolescents. Despite the increase in remote contact, antipsychotic and mood stabiliser prescribing remained at similar levels.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with a marked increase in remote consultation, particularly among younger patients. However, there was no evidence that this has led to changes in prescribing. Further work is needed to support older patients in accessing remote mental healthcare.
S0138 - Digital Psychiatry and COVID-19: A Potential Recruitment Opportunity
Psychiatry has long been battling with a recruitment crisis in the UK which is also reflected across much of Europe. Covid-19 has brought about widespread changes to our ways of working, as well as driving technological developments, which provides potential opportunities for the profession to draw people into the speciality.
Covid-19 has brought interest in digital psychiatry from the peripheries to the mainstream. Mental health professionals are currently using sophisticated technologies such as Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. Highlighting the ways in which our profession is at the cutting edge of innovation to junior doctors offers a fruitful avenue to improve recruitment into the speciality.
Many outpatient clinics have made the move to online service delivery during the pandemic to varying degrees. For many clinicians this has allowed more flexible and efficient ways of working. Psychiatry is better placed than most other medical disciplines to retain online patient contact in future clinical practice, post pandemic and may provide an attractive proposition for future psychiatrists.
This talk will review some of the ways in which developments in digital psychiatry have been used to help generate interest for recruitment into the discipline as well as evaluating the benefits and challenges of the shift to telepsychiatry during Covid-19 and will offer some suggestions what the profession can learn from this to help future recruitment.
S0139 - Social Media Misinformation During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts on Public Mental Health
Social Media Misinformation During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts on Public Mental Health
Introduction: Some behavioral measures such as handwashing, masking or social distancing are among the most effective tools to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
Objectives: Describe the extent to which major media outlets in the United States and Spain have tweeted about COVID-19 health related behaviors, and determine if differences exist between major media outlets in the two countries.
Methods: We analyzed contents posted on Twitter by 25 major media outlet’s (15 from USA and 10 from Spain) about COVID health related behaviors (HRB). News content were analyzed and classified as well as Twitter users' reactions.
Results: Masking and quarantine were the HRB that generated most of the tweets. However, we found differences between media outlets in the two countries. Twitter user´s engaged more with tweets posted by USA media. Most of the tweets describing HRB from the general population were consistent with CDC/WHO guidelines.
Conclusions: Understanding the public view of these HRB is necessary to design promotional strategies aimed at the appropriate population.
S0140 - MonerDaktar: A Large Online Mental Health Service to Improve Access to Care in Bangladesh During the COVID-19 Pandemic
More than 92% of people in Bangladesh are deprived from any sort of mental health care due to severe scarcity of mental health professionals, widespread stigma, lack of awareness, the inability to travel from remote area to Dhaka and maintaining the cost of travel and clinics. Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis made the scenario worse. To solve this problem we designed, developed and implemented “Monerdaktar”.
The process development Monerdaktar- website and mobile application started with the initial idea and concept by TRS followed by extensive literature review and naturalistic observation of the mental health care service delivery from two tertiary hospitals in Bangladesh. We conducted 3 focus group discussion with the patients, their care givers, mental health professions. Based on the user feedback and technical suggestion of the mental health professional and IT professionals we developed the prototype of the Monerdaktar mobile application and website. After piloting for two months, the final version of the mobile application and website was finalized incorporating the feedback of the patients and experts.
Monerdaktar created the unique opportunity to connect with the most the reputed mental health professional both psychiatrists and clinical psychologists online. Moreover, monerdaktar delivered the service free of cost to more than 700 clients during the peak of COVID crisis in Bangladesh.
The COVID-19 crisis has potentiated the acceptance and adaptation of the Moenrdaktar solved the long-standing crisis of access to mental health care in Bangladesh and ensure the evidence-based care from anywhere.