Telecounseling for the linguistically isolated: A pilot study with older korean immigrants

Yuri Jang, David A. Chiriboga, Victor Molinari, Soonhee Roh, Yeddi Park, Songeui Kwon, Hyunhwa Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Responding to the critical needs of the linguistically isolated, this pilot study tested the use of telehealth technology in providing access to culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services. The goal of the study was to explore the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a telecounseling program in the client's native language. Design and Methods: Using a small sample of older Korean immigrants living in a low-income housing facility in Orlando, Florida, who had concerns about depressive moods (n = 14), the pilot telecounseling program was implemented via videoconferencing. Four weekly sessions were conducted by 4 Korean mental health counselors based in New York. Results: A high level of completion (86%) and overall satisfaction with the program were observed. Participants also exhibited a significant reduction in depressive symptom severity shortly after completion of the program. At the 3-month follow-up, the participants' depressive symptom scores remained significantly lower than those at the initial assessment. Implications. The findings support the value of telecounseling for linguistically isolated populations and suggest further efforts to extend such programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalGerontologist
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R03HS020636).

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Linguistically isolated populations
  • Telehealth

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