e-Mental health - A guide for GPs


Following up with patients
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As with any individual who has a mental health issue, patients who have started an e-mental health treatment program should be followed up in a timely manner. Checking in with patients two weeks after recommending an e-mental health intervention, for example, allows you to determine whether they are engaged and responding to treatment. Decisions can then be made about patients’ ongoing management.54

Monitoring self-harm and suicidal ideation is crucial. If the patient appears to have an elevated risk at follow-up, take action in line with your existing practice protocols and revise the treatment plan.53
 

 Fig 1. A model for follow up of patients using e-mental health interventions

 

Practice tip


Many patients, particularly those experiencing depression, might have difficulties with motivation or concentration during their use of the recommended intervention. To counter these issues, set realistic goals for treatment and encourage patients to print material to use as a memory aide.

  1. Proudfoot J, Klein B, Andersson G, et al. Guided CBT internet interventions: specific issues in supporting clients with depression, anxiety and comorbid conditions. In: Bennett-Levy J, Richards D, Farrand P, et al., editors. Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010;247–52.
  2. Orman J, O’Dea B, Shand F, Berk M, Proudfoot J, Christensen H. e-Mental health for mood and anxiety disorders in general practice. Aust Fam Physician 2014;43(12):832–37.