Although the health care industry talks about the great acceleration of telehealth or telemedicine in 2021, nearly half (45%) of Americans have not used it, according to an American Psychiatric Association (APA) Public Opinion Poll.
Of those that have engaged with telemedicine, most (82%) used it for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter when they first logged on, nearly half of the respondents had a favorable opinion of the health care delivery medium, stating they would use it for a physical health concern or illness (62%) or mental health concern (59%).
Of those polled, 57% said they would considering using a support line or online chat, a confidential free service for information, conversation, and emotional support, before a crisis develops during a time of personal difficulty and anxiety.
According to this poll, over the past several years 16% of respondents have had trouble making an in-person appointment to see a primary care physician (46%), psychiatrist (45%), therapist (38%), psychologist (29%), or social worker (17%) for mental health care; 30% did not have difficulty, and 51% did not try to see anyone for mental health concerns.
The APA collected this information from 1000 US adults aged 18 and over between March 26, 2021, and April 5, 2021.
American Psychiatric Association. APA 2021 Public Opinion Poll: Access to Care. American Psychiatric Association website. 2021. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/apa-public-opinion-poll-2021-access-to-care.