CAHSS Telepsychiatry Impact Evaluation

Impact Evaluation: Assessing the Effectiveness of Telepsychiatry in Pakistan
Grant Award: CAD 197,628

Through the AKDN eHealth Programme, telepsychiatry services are offered at AKDN health facilities in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. The service allows patients to consult psychiatrists at the Aga Khan Medical Centre, Gilgit and the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi.

AKDN eHRC in collaboration with the Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHS, P); Aga Khan University (AKU); and faculty from Dalhousie University, Canada undertook a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of telepsychiatry services offered at the Aga Khan Medical Centre, Booni (AKMC, B), Chitral and the Aga Khan Medical Centre, Gilgit (AKMC, G) and other health centres in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.

In 2015, activities such as procurement of equipment; development and validation of data collection tools; development and testing of a mobile-based data collection application; and recruitment and training of data collectors were carried out. During 2016, quantitative and qualitative data was gathered by the trained data collectors for a full-year. Data analysis, reporting and dissemination activities are planned for 2017.

Qualitative data collection included an exploratory descriptive study wherein patient experiences and perceptions of the telepsychiatry project were evaluated through interviews. For these interviews, data collectors used an Android-based app, the Telepsychiatry Survey Application, developed by AKDN eHRC to obtain patient feedback. Quantitative data was gathered through paper-based questionnaires filled out by patients, measuring access, quality and cost of health care services. Quantitative data was also collected by the psychiatrist’s appraisal of the patients’ Mental Status Examination (MSE).

During the data collection process, the team encountered a technical challenge. The Android application was developed in the local language, Urdu, and the data being uploaded to the central database was also in the Urdu script. This rendered the data unreadable on the web interface. As a solution, the data sent to the central database was translated to English.

The evaluation study was conducted through a mixed methodology research approach. Funded by Global Affairs Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation, Canada, the study initiated in April 2015 and concluded in January 2017.

Contact Us

Get in touch

Your message has been sent. We'll get back to you soon!

There was a problem with your submission. Please repeat it again.

You're now subscribed, thank you!

Subscribe error, please review your email address.