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 journalArticle

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
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Early online date11 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • prevention
  • adolescence
  • Intervention
  • mental health

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