INTRODUCTION: Major advancements in technology have led to considerations how telemedicine (TM) and other technology platforms can be meaningfully integrated in treatment for psychiatric disorders. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a further focus on use of TM in psychiatry. Despite the widespread use of TM, little is known about its effect compared with traditional in-person (IP) consultation. The objective of this systematic review is to examine if individual psychiatric outpatient interventions for adults using TM are comparable to IP in terms of (1) psychopathology outcomes, (2) levels of patient satisfaction, (3) working alliance and (4) dropout from treatment. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This review will only include randomised controlled trials for adult participants with mood disorders, anxiety or personality disorders. The primary outcome is psychopathology, and secondary outcomes include patient satisfaction, treatment alliance and dropout rate. Systematic searches were conducted in MEDLINE, APA PsycINFO, Embase, Web of Science and CINAHL. The inverse-variance method will be used to conduct the meta-analysis. Effect sizes will be calculated as standardised mean difference (Hedges' g) for the primary outcome, mean difference for patient satisfaction and working alliance, and risk ratio for the dropout rate. Effect sizes will be supplemented with 95% CI. We will calculate the I² statistic to quantify heterogeneity and Chi-square statistic (χ²) to test for heterogeneity for the primary outcome. Potential clinical and methodological heterogeneity moderators will be assessed in subgroup and sensitivity analysis. The risk of bias will be assessed by Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool V.2, and confidence in cumulative evidence will be assessed by Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval is required for this systematic review protocol. Data sets will be deposited in the Zenodo repository. The findings of this study will be published in a peer-review scientific journal. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021256357.
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