Soliciting Diagnostic Information From Patients With Neurodegenerative Diseases During Telehealth Visits: George Grossberg, MD

The director of Geriatric Psychiatry at the St Louis University School of Medicine discussed what clinicians should pay attention to when conducting telehealth visits for psychosis-related symptoms in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

To navigate restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of experts published recommendations on how to properly use telehealth to assess and manage psychosis-related symptoms for residents with neurodegenerative disorders in long-term care (LTC) facilities. There were several notable points that were considered essential to the success of this type of virtual care, including a collaborative effort between specialists, facility administrators, and facility staff. Another section focused on the best practices during evaluation and diagnosis, specifically harping on the need for specialists to actively solicit diagnostic information prior to and during these visits.

The study authors wrote that input from residents’ family members about long-term behavioral changes and other elements that staff might not observe or report is also useful to capturing a patient’s full experience. Similar to in-person evaluation, requesting previsit input from family members and LTC staff on their observations around the resident’s status may make the appointment more efficient and can aid in the diagnosis as well.

Senior author George Grossberg, MD, the Samuel W. Fordyce professor and director, Geriatric Psychiatry, St Louis University School of Medicine, believes there are several ways to properly address these psychotic symptoms, including educating family and caregivers about asking the right questions. Grossberg sat down for a brief interview to discuss the most important information clinicians should keep track of when conducting telehealth visits, as well as the signs that may point to a patient experiencing psychotic symptoms.

REFERENCE
Shaughnessy L, Brunton S, Chepke C, Farmer JG, Rosenzweig AS, Grossberg G. Using telemedicine to assess and manage psychosis in neurodegenerative diseases in long-term care. J Am Med Dir Assoc. Published online January 12, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2021.12.033