Document Type



Medical College Pakistan


Objective: This study aims to measure the prevalence of mental health disorders in low-resource settings through telepsychiatry and evaluate data from Pakistan's Sehat Kahani nurse-assisted online clinics serving low-income communities. This will help to understand the magnitude and nature of the demand for contextual therapies to promote mental health. The paper will discuss the challenges faced in these settings, such as limited access to mental health facilities, stigma and opportunities telemedicine brings.
Design: An observational cross-sectional study of telepsychiatry consultations using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 to screen for depression and anxiety was conducted between October and December 2022.
Setting: This research was conducted at Dadar Mansehra e-health clinics of Sehat Kahani with telepsychiatry services in Pakistan.
Participants: The study included 2660 participants who visited Sehat Kahani e-health clinics between October and December 2022 and voluntarily completed the questionnaire for data collection.
Results: The study was comprised of 2660 participants with a mean age of 34.3 years. The study findings show that the majority of participants were females (98.4%), 16.9% of participants had moderate depression, and 20.8% had severe depression. Furthermore, the participants who were widowed/divorced were more likely to have depression than those who were single (OR=3.3, 95% CI (2.0 to 5.2)).
Conclusions: Based on the findings, most study participants were female, and their mental health was negatively impacted. Women in Pakistan are disproportionately affected by the rising rates of depression and anxiety, and telepsychiatry therapies effectively respond to this growing need. Potentially, it is a game-changer for dealing with mental health problems. Telepsychiatry can help policymakers and mental health professionals to develop effective low-income mental health initiatives.


Pagination is not provided by the author/publisher.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMJ Open