Forty-one percent of people surveyed by Southern Cross University say the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them into therapy, though 61% say it's slightly to moderately difficult to afford an online therapist.
The telehealth study, published in mid-July, also found that 67.3% of respondents feel more lonely since the onset of the pandemic.
Telehealth medicine has skyrocketed since the virus started to spread and lockdowns ensued – March telehealth visits surged by 50% – and analysts now expect virtual healthcare interactions to top 1 billion by year’s end.
“There were three barriers that impacted the lack of adoption, or the slowness of adoption, before the pandemic hit. We saw cost ... availability ... and then we also saw relationships playing a factor,” said Forrester analyst Arielle Trzcinski. “If a patient was able to see their existing provider, they were much more likely to use the service.”
The Southern Cross poll also found that:
- 56% say the pandemic is slightly to moderately impacting their mental health.
- 33% say they attend weekly therapy sessions.
- 70.4% say in-person therapy is more beneficial than online therapy (22.4%)
Southern Cross surveyed 1,078 people in America, Europe and Australia about online therapy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, respondents had to indicate participation in a therapy session since the onset of the pandemic.
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