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Title: Spanish-Speaking Therapists Increasingly Switch to Telepsychology During COVID-19: Networked Virtual Reality May Be Next
Authors: Sampaio, Mariana
Navarro Haro, Maria Vicenta
Wilks, Chelsey
Sousa, Bruno Cecílio de 
Garcia-Palacios, Azucena
Hoffman, Hunter G.
Keywords: COVID-19; Spanish-speaking therapists; Telehealth; Telepsychology; Virtual reality
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert
Serial title, monograph or event: Telemedicine and e-Health
Volume: 27
Issue: 8
Abstract: Background: Social distancing restrictions imposed due to the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in a rapid shift in the delivery of psychological interventions from in-person to telehealth. Much of the research on this transition has been conducted with English-speaking mental health providers, leaving a gap in understanding related to how this shift has impacted Spanish-speaking treatment providers. Methods: Fifty non-U.S. Spanish-speaking therapists completed a survey related to their use of telecommunication modalities; client population characteristics; professional, ethical, and legal/regulatory issues; and telehealth training and practice. Participants completed the survey at one time point and retrospectively described their use of telehealth both pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. Results: Most of the 50 Spanish-speaking therapists surveyed reported using telepsychology 58% before COVID-19 versus 84% during the COVID-19 pandemic (χ2 = 5.76, p < 0.05). Compared with pre-pandemic, the number of hours therapists spent using telepsychology per week increased significantly for early adopter therapists (those who began using telehealth before the pandemic began) (Z = -3.18, p = 0.001) and also for late adopter therapists who only began using telehealth during the pandemic (Z = -3.74, p < 0.001). Many therapists reported equity issues. Most participants also reported ethical and regulatory concerns regarding security/confidentiality or Health Insurance Porability and Accountability Act. Conclusions: The rapid adoption of technology to deliver therapy during COVID-19 has spurred growing pains for Spanish-speaking therapists and their underserved clients, and more research is needed to better understand and improve the therapists' adoption of these technologies with diverse patient populations.
ISSN: 1530-5627
DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2021.0124
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FPCEUC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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