Barriers and Contributors to Success in Telemedicine: A Qualitative Study of a Struggling Telepsychiatry Project and a Sampling of Highly Successful Programs

  • Carolyn Lauckner University of Georgia
  • Pamela Whitten University of Georgia
Keywords: telemedicine, mental health, psychiatry, videoconferencing, hospitals, rural


Telemedicine programs, though popular and increasingly effective, can sometimes fail with little indication as to why they did not succeed. This study has two major components: first, a qualitative analysis of the authors’ failed telepsychiatry project, and second, an interview study completed with personnel from successful telepsychiatry programs. Together, these two efforts help to shed light on what went wrong with the authors’ project, while also providing insight into critical factors for telepsychiatry success. Responses suggest that the sophistication or features of the technology used are not key factors in terms of failure or success. Instead, community, patient-based, and study-specific barriers were the most commonly cited issues that inhibited study recruitment and enrollment. Based on these findings, a series of recommendations are put forth for utilizing technology to address common barriers and increase the likelihood of success in telepsychiatry.


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How to Cite
Lauckner, C., & Whitten, P. (2014). Barriers and Contributors to Success in Telemedicine: A Qualitative Study of a Struggling Telepsychiatry Project and a Sampling of Highly Successful Programs. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 2(1), 71-76. Retrieved from
Original Research