Models of remote professional supervision for psychologists in rural and remote locations: a systematic review

Varela, Sharon M., Hays, Catherine, Knight, Sabina, and Hays, Richard (2021) Models of remote professional supervision for psychologists in rural and remote locations: a systematic review. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 29 (2). pp. 211-225.

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Psychology workforce shortages in geographically rural or remote contexts have highlighted the need to understand the supervisory experiences of psychologists practising in these locations, and the models of supervision employed to support their practice and improve client safety.


To review the models of remote professional supervision and the supervisory experiences of psychologists practising in rural and remote locations.


Using the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for mixed‐methods systematic review, 8 health and education databases were searched using keyword and subject heading searches.


The initial search identified 413 studies. A full‐text review identified 4 papers that met the inclusion criteria and were subjected to a methodological appraisal by 2 reviewers. Three studies included qualitative data, with 2 using transcribed interviews. Two studies reported quantitative data, with only one study including a statistical analysis of the outcomes.


The results for the efficacy of the current models of remote supervision being used within the allied health and psychology professions are limited, with methodological limitations cautioning generalisability of results. The experiences of psychologists engaged in remote supervision do not appear to have changed over the past decade despite technological advances.


Quality professional supervision is critical for the sustainability of the psychology workforce in rural and remote locations, reducing professional isolation, and for improved patient outcomes. This review identified a need for improved evidence for remote supervision models for psychologists working in geographically rural and remote locations. Lessons can be learned from other health professions’ models of remote supervision.

Item ID: 68129
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: models of remote supervision; professional supervision; psychologists; rural and remote practice; supervisory experiences
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Authors. Australian Journal of Rural Health published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of National Rural Health Alliance Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2021 23:34
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 60%
39 EDUCATION > 3999 Other Education > 399999 Other education not elsewhere classified @ 20%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420602 Health equity @ 20%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160104 Professional development and adult education @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200204 Health inequalities @ 20%
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200399 Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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