Case study: video consultations reduce patient’s anxiety

Friday, 9 August 2019

Video consultation

After years of staying at home and experiencing the challenges of agoraphobia, a consumer was able to do what previously seemed too challenging: walking outside, through his own garden.

Facts about the patient:

  • Single, 20-year-old male
  • Has a diagnosis of agoraphobia, panic attacks and depressive disorder
  • Very rarely leaves the house
  • Been feeling this way for the past 6-7 years, challenges have become more intense over time
  • Not currently studying or working
  • Lives alone

SEMPHN referred the patient to the Accessible Psychological Intervention (API) services to implement the patient's first ever form of psychological intervention. This intervention was delivered online using the Cyber Clinic platform.

The patient experienced reduced anxiety around the idea of a telehealth consult rather than attending a traditional face-to-face session.

Successes from telehealth consultations:

  • Patient attended four sessions to date
  • Patient learnt a breathing exercise, which he practiced prior to a panic attack
  • Patient used cognitive exercise to challenge his irrational thoughts
  • Practitioner guided patient to enter his backyard, which caused a lot of anxiety. However, through video consultations, the practitioner encouraged the patient to practise the breathing exercise and allowed the patient to achieve their goal. 

Benefits of telehealth consultations:

  • Less confronting for patient in the comfort of their own home
  • Fewer barriers to attending treatment (taking transport, being outside, seeing people etc.)
  • Able to schedule around their needs
  • Practitioner engages in exposure work with patient directly on mobile

Who is eligible?

Through API services, the free video consultation service is available for people who:

  • Live or work in the SEMPHN catchment, and
  • Have a health care card or can’t afford or access similar services
  • Have a mild-moderate mental illness such as depression or anxiety

Referral information

Referrals can be made by calling SEMPHN’s Access & Referral team on 1800 862 363 which features a GP-priority line).

Referral forms can be found here

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