Frontline professionals’ use of and attitudes towards technology to support interventions for adolescents with depression symptoms: A Mixed Methods survey

Maria E. Loades, Bethany Cliffe, Grace Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Depression is common in adolescence, and subthreshold symptoms even more so. Untreated, it is disabling. Yet, upscaling traditional clinic-based provision would be prohibitively expensive. We aimed to investigate frontline, non-specialist professionals’ use of and attitudes towards technology to increase the availability of early help. Method: Cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of professionals in the UK (N = 115, including low intensity practitioners, GPs, education staff, school nurses). The survey included rating scales and free text boxes. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively, and we used reflexive thematic analysis for the qualitative data. Results: Frontline professionals rate their technological competence as good and have favourable attitudes towards using technology to support adolescents with depression symptoms. They rated online resources as most useful with mild-moderate symptoms, compared to severe symptoms (t(110) = 14.54, p <.001, Cohen’s d = 1.49). Technology was viewed as important to bridge the needs-access gap and professionals were interested in learning about online SSIs due to usefulness (r =.32, p <.001). Conclusion: Technology, such as SSIs, are of interest to mental health professionals and may be useful for supporting adolescents with depression. Future research should explore the use of SSIs for treating adolescent depression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Early online date6 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • adolescents
  • children
  • digital mental health interventions
  • frontline professionals
  • single session interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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