Eclectic Psychotherapy-Telecounseling

Eclectic Psychotherapy-Telecounseling

Background: Preliminary reports suggest that during the COVID-19 pandemic, telecounseling could be an effective model of psychological intervention for the frontline healthcare workers (fHCW) with psychological problems. Literature is sparse in this area, particularly from low- and middle-income countries, including India. We aimed to investigate the feasibility and the effectiveness of telecounseling (vs. general education) on the psychological problems of the fHCW over three time-points (baseline vs. end-of-session and at two and four weeks after the intervention).

Methods: The study followed a single-blind, active arm versus general education, parallel-group randomized control design, with participant allocation in 1:1. Active healthcare workers (HCWs) with mild- to-severe or clinically concerning scores on any of the sub-scales of Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) or Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R; represented by higher scores) were included, while those with known psychiatric illness were excluded. Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U test and linear-mixed effect model (group-, time, and group by time-effect) were used for analysis.

Results: There were no baseline group differences (telecounseling group, active arm, n = 9; general education group, control arm, n = 10). A significant time-effect (P = 0.044 to <.001) was found on DASS-21 on intention-to-treat analysis. Per-protocol analysis, additionally, found a significant group effect on Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R; P = 0.036). A significant random effect of the participants was also found (P <.001).

Conclusion: Telecounseling could be a feasible and scalable model of psychological interventions for the fHCW with psychological problems, albeit with some feasibility challenges.

Rank: 5
First Author: Gupta
Outcome: Stress,Depression,Anxiety
Outcome p-value: Stress:⭑⭑⭑, Depression:⭑⭑⭑, Anxiety:⭑⭑⭑,
Intervention Category: Coping Skills Development
Time per Employee (hours): 1.5
Hours per Employee: 2
D&B Study Quality Rating: 21
Reviewer Confidence: 4
Country: India
Study Design Type: RCT
Materials Available to Implement: Intervention outlined in publication. Author email:
Organiz./Individ. Focus: Individual
Prevention Category: Secondary,Tertiary
Effect size Small:
Effect size Medium:
Reference: Gupta, S., Kumar, M., Rozatkar, A. R., Basera, D., Purwar, S., Gautam, D., & Jahan, R. (2021). Feasibility and effectiveness of telecounseling on the psychological problems of frontline healthcare workers amidst COVID-19: A randomized controlled trial from Central India. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 43(4), 343-350.