Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on mental health providers in the southeastern United States.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for mental health care despite novel barriers to services. Little is known about how the pandemic has affected mental health providers and their practice. In July 2020, we conducted a web-based survey of 500 licensed mental health providers to assess their employment and caseloads, logistics of care, quality of care, and patient-provider relationships and communication during the pandemic. Over 90% of providers reported changes to their employment (e.g., furloughs), with 64% no longer practicing. Providers who reported no longer practicing were older in age, racial minorities, served rural communities, worked in small clinics/provider networks, were social workers and marriage and family therapists, and relied on private insurance or out-of-pocket payment. Most practicing providers reported similar-to-increased caseloads (62%), new patients seeking services (67%), and appointment frequency (70%). Approximately 97% of providers used telemedicine, with 54% providing services mostly-to-exclusively via telemedicine. Most providers reported losing contact with patients deemed unstable (76%) or a danger to themselves/others (71%). Most providers reported maintained-to-improved quality of care (83%), patient-provider relationships (80%), and communication (80%). Results highlight concerns relating to mental health services during the pandemic, however practicing providers have demonstrated resilience to coordinate and provide high quality care.
Published In/Presented At
Slone, H., Gutierrez, A., Lutzky, C., Zhu, D., Hedriana, H., Barrera, J. F., Paige, S. R., & Bunnell, B. E. (2021). Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on mental health providers in the southeastern United States. Psychiatry research, 302, 114055. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114055
Medical Education | Medicine and Health Sciences
USF-LVHN SELECT Program, USF-LVHN SELECT Program Students