WVU School of Medicine Psychologist Appointed to Task Force to Guide Telemedicine | School of Medicine


The continued steady growth of telemedicine and the continued high demand for mental health care make the need for best practices in the field of telepsychology all the more important for clinicians and patients. A West Virginia University faculty member will serve on a task force of the American Psychological Association to update guidelines for clinicians practicing telepsychology.

Jonathan Pearl, a clinical psychologist in the School of Medicine’s Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, started this month, with updated guidelines expected to be published in early 2024, coinciding with the 10-year expiration of the current guidance.

“APA’s Telepsychology Practice Guidelines are intended to be a guide for clinical psychologists across the country,” Pearl said. “They aim to help psychologists practice within and outside their own jurisdictions in an ethical, legal, evidence-based and safe manner.

“Given the continued fragmentation of telemedicine literature, guidelines and legal regulations, the guidelines provide an essential guide to clinical practice.”

This task force is composed of individuals representing a wide range of expertise, situations and experiences, and completes a comprehensive review of research and legal information to determine which guidelines to maintain, revise or update, as well as , recommends new standards to maximize practice. Clinical psychologist.

“First and foremost, the guidelines provide recommendations for providers’ competence in multiple areas of telemedicine-related practice,” Pearl said. “Patients are also protected by guidelines on ethical and legal practices such as data security, cross-jurisdictional operations, and data destruction.

“Without guidelines, psychologists may be equally unaware of how many important and unique elements of telemedicine differ from traditional face-to-face services.”

Once developed, the latest telepsychology practice guidelines will be available as an open-access online resource.



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