Telepsychology can be combined with other innovative approaches but technical barriers are far from being overcome. We need to develop standard guidelines for children and adolescents and to identify weaknesses in this field. Telepsychology is usually delivered in person but we need more applications such as online interactive instruction or treatment monitoring. The term “patient’s site” refers to the patients location, while “provider’s site” refers to the telepsychologists location. Another terminology is originating site (patient) and distant site (psychologist). One big problem in telepsychology is the access for children living in rural or impoverished areas. The amount of data that can travel through the communication network is another important problem, because only big cities tend to have big bandwidth (Myers, Cain, Work Group on Quality Issues, & American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Staff, 2008). Internet interventions can be used for several pathologies and can be delivered in different formats. Telepsychologists can use synchronous chat services, email, video-documentaries and Apps.
Today we present five different programs targeting adolescents, for smoking cessation. These programs can be offered by physicians (Pathways to Change [PTC; Hollis et al., 2005] and Stomp Out Smokes [SOS; Patten et al., 2006]), or in the schools (Breathing Room [Woodruff et al., 2007], Consider This [Buller et al., 2008] and Smoking Zine [Norman et al., 2008]). All programs incorporate psychoeducation and when email is used a trained moderator provide individualized feedback. Programs which in turn are also used in face to face programs include an assessment of stage of change, and a follow-up feedback. The effectiveness of these programs is controversial but in a large follow-up with an Australian sample (Buller et al., 2008) they found statistically significant reduction in past 30-days smoking prevalence rates. However, in another study in a U.S. sample, no differences were found between conditions in past 30-days prevalence rates. We can conclude that more research is needed on this field.
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Buller, D. B., Borland, R., Woodall, W. G., Hall, J. R., Hines, J. M., Burris-Woodall, P., … Saba, L. (2008). Randomized trials on consider this, a tailored, internet-delivered smoking prevention program for adolescents. Health education & behavior: the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education, 35(2), 260-281. doi:10.1177/1090198106288982
Hollis, J. F., Polen, M. R., Whitlock, E. P., Lichtenstein, E., Mullooly, J. P., Velicer, W. F., & Redding, C. A. (2005). Teen reach: outcomes from a randomized, controlled trial of a tobacco reduction program for teens seen in primary medical care. Pediatrics, 115(4), 981-989. doi:10.1542/peds.2004-0981
Myers, K., Cain, S., Work Group on Quality Issues, & American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Staff. (2008). Practice parameter for telepsychiatry with children and adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(12), 1468-1483. doi:10.1097/CHI.0b013e31818b4e13
Patten, C. A., Croghan, I. T., Meis, T. M., Decker, P. A., Pingree, S., Colligan, R. C., … Gustafson, D. H. (2006). Randomized clinical trial of an Internet-based versus brief office intervention for adolescent smoking cessation. Patient education and counseling, 64(1-3), 249-258. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2006.03.001
Woodruff, S. I., Conway, T. L., Edwards, C. C., Elliott, S. P., & Crittenden, J. (2007). Evaluation of an Internet virtual world chat room for adolescent smoking cessation. Addictive behaviors, 32(9), 1769-1786. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.12.008