Liliana Hidalgo Padilla

Thesis Title: The impact and the experiences of mental health consultations delivered remotely or in-person – a mixed methods study

Abstract:Delivering remote consultations is a promising approach to reducing the mental health treatment gap. The COVID-19 pandemic precipitated the implementation of remote care in health services due to social distancing requirements, allowing mental health remote consultations to be implemented at a larger scale. Bonding is a crucial element of the therapeutic relationship, as it has been identified in John Bowlby’s attachment theory. However, little is known about the implications and differences between remote and in-person care in mental health.

This mixed-methods study aims to answer the following research question: “What are the differences between providing mental health consultations remotely and in-person in patients’ outcomes?”

The study will follow three steps:

1) Review of the evidence The review will focus on the differences in the effectiveness of reducing symptoms and other health outcomes when accessing remote and in-person mental health consultations.

2) Clinical records data analyses Data from King’s Health Partners (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust) containing patients’ health information will be analysed to compare how in-person and remote mental health consultations in London impact health outcomes, such as symptom reduction, quality of life and treatment adherence. These analyses will be beneficial as the platform’s data gives access to real-life situations on a large scale.

3) Service user and professional views Individual interviews will be conducted with service users and health professionals to ascertain views and experiences of remote and in-person consultations in mental health services in London. Interviews will be audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data will be coded and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis based on the attachment theory

First Supervisor: Mariana Pinto da Costa


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Pathway: 1: HPII

Cohort: 2023-24