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APA 2021 Public Opinion Poll: Access to Care

Interviews: 1,000 U.S. Adults age 18 + - Dates: March 26, 2021 - April 5, 2021

Issue Questions

Q1. In the past several years, have you personally had difficulty scheduling an appointment or seeing a mental health professional?

Yes, I have had difficulty


No, I have not had difficulty


I have not tried to see anyone


Don’t know


Q2. [If yes] Which of the following health care professionals have you had trouble seeing for mental health care? Please select all that apply.



Primary Care






Social Worker


Workplace Counselor




Don’t know


Q3. Which of the following best describes your experience with telehealth or telemedicine—that is, when patients see doctors or other medical or mental health professionals remotely, on the phone, or through online apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or Teams?

Note: Question wording in 2020 was “Which of the following best describes your experience with telehealth?”

  2021 2020
I have never heard of telehealth before 17% 27%
I have heard of telehealth, but I have not personally used it 45% 42%
I have used telehealth services to meet with a doctor or other medical or mental health professional 38% 31%

If answered “I have used telehealth services to meet with a doctor or other medical personnel” ask questions 4-11:

Q4. How have you used telehealth when communicating with a doctor, medical office, or mental health professional? Please select all that apply.

Online in a video session (using an app such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or Teams)


Online using audio-only


Through a regular telephone call


Don’t know


Q5. When was the FIRST time you used telehealth services?

Since the start of the pandemic


Before the pandemic


Don’t know


Q6-10: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Ranked by highest percentage.

  Total agree 2021 Total agree 2020 Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
I would use telehealth for a physical health concern or illness 62% 59% 28% 33% 21% 10% 8%
I would use telehealth or telepsychiatry for a mental health concern or illness 59% 49% 26% 33% 22% 11% 9%
The quality of care received in a telehealth session can be the same as that of an in-person office visit 45% 40% 19% 26% 28% 18% 9%
I prefer telehealth compared to in-person, doctor’s office visits 34% 31% 15% 19% 28% 19% 19%
I want to use telehealth after the coronavirus pandemic is over 43% - 19% 24% 27% 14% 15%

Q11. Would you consider using a support line or an online chat (a confidential, free service offering conversation, emotional support, and information before a crisis develops) during a time of personal difficulty and mental anxiety?

Yes, I would consider


Yes, I have already used it




Don’t know


Note: These findings come from an APA-sponsored online survey conducted March 26 - April 5, 2021, among a sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older. The equivalent margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points. Contact [email protected] for a copy of the crosstabs for the poll. 


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