Understanding mental health professionals' perspectives and practices regarding the implementation of digital mental health: qualitative study

Cristina Mendes-Santos, Francisco Nunes, Elisabete Weiderpass, Rui Santana, Gerhard Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Despite the potential of digital mental health to provide cost-effective mental health care, its adoption in clinical settings is limited, and little is known about the perspectives and practices of mental health professionals regarding its implementation or the factors influencing these perspectives and practices. Objective: This study aims to characterize in depth the perspectives and practices of mental health professionals regarding the implementation of digital mental health and explore the factors affecting such perspectives and practices. Methods: A qualitative study using in-depth semistructured interviews with Portuguese mental health professionals (N=13)-psychologists and psychiatrists-was conducted. The transcribed interviews were thematically analyzed. Results: Mental health professionals deemed important or engaged in the following practices during the implementation of digital mental health: indication evaluation, therapeutic contract negotiation, digital psychological assessment, technology setup and management, and intervention delivery and follow-up. Low-threshold accessibility and professionals' perceived duty to provide support to their clients facilitated the implementation of digital mental health. Conversely, the lack of structured intervention frameworks; the unavailability of usable, validated, and affordable technology; and the absence of structured training programs inhibited digital mental health implementation by mental health professionals. Conclusions: The publication of practice frameworks, development of evidence-based technology, and delivery of structured training seem key to expediting implementation and encouraging the sustained adoption of digital mental health by mental health professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32558
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • barriers
  • digital mental health
  • drivers
  • EU
  • European Union
  • implementation
  • internet interventions
  • mental health professionals
  • Portugal
  • psychotherapy
  • technology acceptance and adoption

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding mental health professionals' perspectives and practices regarding the implementation of digital mental health: qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this