Clinicians' use of and attitudes towards technology to provide and support interventions in child and adolescent mental health services

Bethany Cliffe, Abigail Croker, Megan Denne, Paul Stallard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Background
Technology can increase child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) capacity by supporting and delivering interventions, yet it has not been widely adopted by CAMHS child mental health professionals. Uptake can either be facilitated or obstructed by child mental health professionals' attitudes, which remain largely unknown.

Method
One hundred fifty‐four CAMHS child mental health professionals completed a questionnaire about their use of, and attitudes towards, using technology with children and adolescents.

Results
Child mental health professionals perceived themselves as generally competent at using technology, especially younger child mental health professionals, and perceived it to be helpful in their clinical work. A number of benefits of its use were identified such as accessibility, convenience and appeal, and it was primarily perceived as a preventative/psychoeducational tool rather than a replacement for face‐to‐face therapy. Older technologies (helplines and websites) were most frequently used, whereas newer technologies (computer games) were rarely used. Child mental health professionals were unsure what resources were available and whether technology is safe, private or reliable.

Conclusions
Despite positive attitudes towards technology, newer technologies were rarely used by child mental health professionals. An overall lack of knowledge about resources along with concerns about safety and reliability may account for the slow uptake of technology within CAMHS. These issues need addressing to maximise implementation, perhaps through training or workshops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume25
Issue number2
Early online date11 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was sponsored by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and was approved by the Health Research Authority (IRAS ID 246244). Participants were first presented with an online information sheet about the survey and were informed that by clicking ‘next’ they were agreeing to give their consent to complete the questionnaire.

Funding Information:
Funding for this project was provided by the Health Foundation. P.S. conceived the idea and designed the study; B.C., A.M. and M.D. developed the online questionnaire with B.C. undertaking the data analysis. All authors participated in the interpretation of findings, contributed core ideas, and read and approved the final manuscript. P.S. had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data in the study and the accuracy of the data analysis. The authors would like to thank all those who completed this survey.

Funding Information:
This study was approved by the Health Research Authority (IRAS ID 246244) on 29th June 2018. Participants were first presented with an online information sheet about the survey and were informed that by clicking ‘next’ they were agreeing to give their consent to complete the questionnaire.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Child and Adolescent Mental Health published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

Keywords

  • Intervention
  • adolescence
  • mental health
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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