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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2014, Article ID 168158, 7 pages
Research Article

Health-Related Quality of Life of Rural Clients Seeking Telepsychology Services

1Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
2School of Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, 8441 Highway 47, Clinical Building 1, Suite 1300, Bryan, TX 77807, USA

Received 31 May 2014; Accepted 27 October 2014; Published 19 November 2014

Academic Editor: Malcolm Clarke

Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. Tarlow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sixty million US residents live in rural areas, but health policies and interventions developed from an urban mindset often fail to address the significant barriers to health experienced by these local communities. Telepsychology, or psychological services delivered by distance via technology, is an emerging treatment modality with special implications for underserved rural areas. This study found that a sample of rural residents seeking telepsychology services had low health-related quality of life (HRQOL), often due to cooccurring physical and mental health diagnoses including high rates of depression. However, a brief telepsychology treatment delivered to rural clients was associated with an improvement in mental health-related quality of life . These results indicate that despite the complex health needs of these underserved communities, telepsychology interventions may help offset the disparities in health service access in rural areas.