Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Manik Ahuja

Committee Members

Kate Beatty, David Shoham


Background: The utilization of telehealth has had a substantial impact on transforming and enhancing the methods by which healthcare is presently delivered. The potential benefits of telehealth in improving the health of vulnerable populations and underserved communities are substantial. The aims of this study were to examine the association between social determinants of health and patient perceptions of their experiences with telehealth. We will analyze how perceptions differ across specialization, race, gender, and other key determinants; examine how patient’s self-rated physical health and mental health influences perceptions and attitudes about telehealth utilization; and evaluate differences in perceptions and attitudes, experience with patient interactions and overall telehealth experiences between mental health providers and non-mental health providers.

Methods: A scoping review was completed to explore literature regarding telehealth administration and underserved populations following the PRIMSA-ScR guidelines. Multivariable logistic regression was then conducted to assess the relationship between self-rated mental health and self-rated physical health and the primary predictor variables telehealth usability, telehealth satisfaction, and telehealth experiences. Finally, a mixed-methods study was conducted to evaluate differences in perceptions and attitudes, experience with patient interactions and overall telehealth experiences mental health-care providers and non-mental healthcare providers.

Results: The scoping literature review highlights how telehealth is used in diverse settings, but more research needs to be done to determine best practices for both healthcare providers and patients utilizing telehealth. The study focused on self-reported health found significant associations between high mean scores on telehealth usability, telehealth satisfaction, and telehealth experiences and good self-reported mental and physical health. Lastly, the study looking at provider differences highlighted that the reliability of the telemedicine platform, the ability to trust the telemedicine application, and video visits being a convenient form of healthcare delivery was greater for mental healthcare providers than non-mental healthcare providers.

Implications: These findings highlight the need for studies examining telehealth satisfaction, telehealth usability and telehealth experiences amongst providers and patients in underserved areas. Further research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the telehealth access requirements of underserved communities and can aid in the development of evidence-based guidelines for the delivery of telehealth services.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Saturday, June 15, 2024