• The Impact of COVID-19 on Pediatric Telepsychiatry Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowships

      DeJong, Sandra M; Brooks, Deborah; Khan, Shabana; Reaves, Samantha; Busch, Bianca; Alicata, Dan; Ramtekkar, Ujjwal; Vo, Lan Chi; Pruitt, David (Springer Nature, 2021-12-02)
      Objective: This report summarizes findings from a 2020 survey of US child and adolescent psychiatry training programs that explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric telepsychiatry training. The authors hypothesized that telepsychiatry training significantly increased during the pandemic, in part due to legal and regulatory waivers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Methods: In August 2020, an anonymous, 28-question online survey was emailed to all (138) accredited child psychiatry fellowships on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education website. Forty-nine programs responded (36%). This analysis focuses on three of the 28 questions relevant to the hypotheses: characteristics of the program's training in telepsychiatry; perceived impediments to clinical training; and perceived impediments to didactic training pre-COVID onset vs. post-COVID onset, respectively. Total scores were created to investigate differences in training programs and impediments to including telepsychiatry pre- and post-COVID onset. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare means pre- and post-COVID onset. Results: Results provided support for significant differences between training components related to telepsychiatry pre- and post-COVID onset, with participants reporting more training components post-COVID onset (M = 5.69) than pre-COVID onset (M = 1.80); t(48) = 9.33, p < .001. Participants also reported significantly fewer barriers to providing clinical experiences in pediatric telepsychiatry post-COVID onset (M = 2.65) than pre-COVID onset (M = 4.90); t(48) = - 4.20, p < .001. Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric telepsychiatry training in child psychiatry fellowships increased significantly. Perceived barriers to providing clinical, but not didactic, training decreased significantly.