Your wellbeing is our priority. Effective immediately, we are implementing a number of measures to ensure our patients stay as safe as possible while we reduce the risk of contracting/transmitting the virus at our clinic. One of these measures is to offer consultations via telehealth.
Telehealth refers to either a videoconference consultation involving communication between the patient and the practitioner using both a video and audio connection (i.e., Zoom) or audio only (i.e., a phone call).
To support all Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government has announced that eligible patients will be able to access Medicare rebates for psychological and dietetic services delivered via telehealth. Please see the fees & rebates section of our website for more information on eligibility criteria.
The Medicare Better Access program has been expanded to provide Victorians access to a further 10 sessions under the mental health care plan. Through a GP referral, people in Victoria subjected to further restrictions can now receive up to 20 sessions of psychological care through Medicare.
Psychological, hypnotherapy and dietetic treatments provided using telehealth have been found to be as effective as face-to-face appointments for a variety of physical and mental health problems. This includes gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease as well as mental health problems including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This finding extends across child, adolescent and adult patient groups. See the below references for more information on efficacy.
Concerns about establishing rapport, conversation flow and the perception that telehealth is impersonal are commonly described by patients who have not experienced telehealth previously. Despite these concerns, we are comforted to know that there is now consistent evidence of comparable patient reported satisfaction and therapeutic alliance between in-person and telehealth consultations.
Patients have expressed several concerns around gut-directed hypnotherapy via telehealth. See below for clarification on these key points.
Efficacy: Gut-directed hypnotherapy has been found to be as effective as face-to-face appointments. See the below references for more information on efficacy.
Environment: Hypnotherapy requires a safe and relaxing environment. Background noise does not impact on the success of the therapy.
Hypnotic depth: Depth of hypnotic state does not impact on the outcome of the therapy. A light daydreaming state is considered sufficient.
Side effects: There are no known side effects of gut-directed hypnotherapy.
APS. Psychological services via telehealth: Information for consumers. Psychology.org.au 2020
Fletcher, Hogan Keegan et al. Recent advances in delivering mental health treatment via video to home. Current Psychiatry Reports 2018; 20
Hilty, Ferrer, Parish et al. The effectiveness of telemental health: A 2013 review. Telemedicine and e-health 2013; 19:444-454
Kelly, Allman-Farinelli, Chen et al. Dietitians Australia position statement on telehealth. Nutr Diet 2020; 1-10
Lopez, schwenk, Schneck et al. Technology-based mental health treatment and the impact on the therapeutic alliance. Current Psychiatry Reports 2019; 21
Varker, Brand, Ward et al. Efficacy of synchronous telepsychology interventions for people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, adjustment disorder: A rapid evidence assessment. Psychological Services 2019; 16:621-635