Mary E. Lau

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2011

Capstone Advisor

Bruce Way, Ph.D.

Honors Reader

Wanda P. Fremont, Ph.D.

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


Objectives: The project assesses the child telepsychiatry services provided by SUNY Upstate psychiatrists to several county mental health clinics in central New York State. Method: Data for forty-five patients was extracted from pre-consultation forms completed by the referring clinic and post-consultation summaries completed by the Upstate psychiatrists that occurred between July 13th, 2009 and May 12th, 2010. The study identified characteristics of patients for whom telepsychiatry consultations were sought, reviewed recommendations provided by the telepsychiatry consultant, and noted recommended changes in therapy and medication. Results: Analysis of the data showed that there was a large variation in patient characteristics such as age (ranged from 3 to 17), current living situation, and psychological symptoms. In addition to a family history of mental illness (80%), the most common symptoms were physical aggression (60.0%), defiant/oppositional behavior (57.8%) and attentional problems (55.6%). The most common reason for referral was diagnostic clarification (67%). The child telepsychiatrist recommended a change in medication for most (80.8%) of the patients who were on medications, and to begin medications for most (63.2%) who were not receiving medication at the time of consult. Further, the telepsychiatrist often recommended the addition of family therapy (71.1%) and counseling at school (17.8%). Conclusion: The child telepsychiatric program at Upstate seemed effective. It reached a large variety of children with significant mental disorders. The consultants provided diagnostic clarification and recommended modification of treatment for most. However, this assessment is limited as examined as it did not include follow-up information on whether consultant recommendations were followed and, if they were, whether they were effective.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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