Exploring the experiences of mental health professionals engaged in the adoption of mobile health technology in Irish mental health services
Melia, R.; Monahan, L.; Duggan, J.; Bogue, J.; O'Sullivan, M.; Young, K.; Chambers, D.; McInerney, S.
Bmc Psychiatry 21(1): 412
ISSN/ISBN: 1471-244X PMID: 34412601 Accession: 071752600
The World Health Organization report that an estimated 793,000 people died by suicide in 2016 globally. The use of digital technology has been found to be beneficial in the delivery of Web-based suicide prevention interventions. Research on the integration of digital technology within mental health services has indicated that despite the proliferation of technology, engagement by patients and professionals in adopting such technology can be poor. The current study aims to explore the experiences of 15 mental health professionals involved in integrating mobile health technology into their practice. A secondary aim was to identify the drivers and barriers to the adoption of such technology by mental health professionals, and to consider what theoretical models could best account for the data. Semi-structured interviews, conducted from July to October 2019, were used to explore the experiences of mental health professionals engaged in the adoption of mobile health technology within mental health services. Mental Health professionals and clinician managers working in HSE Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Adult Mental Health, and Primary Care Psychology services were recruited for the study. Qualitative interview data was transcribed and analysed using NVivo. Thematic Analysis was used to identify themes. Four major themes were identified: Accessibility, 'Transitional Object', Integration, and Trust. Within these 4 major themes, a total of 9 subthemes were identified: Service Accessibility, Immediate Access, Client Engagement, Adjunct-to-therapy, Therapeutic Relationship, Infrastructural Support, Enhancing Treatment, Trust in the Technology, Trust in the Organisation. Overall, Diffusion of Innovation Theory provides a useful theoretical framework which is consistent with and can adequately account for many of the Major and Subthemes identified in the data. In addition, 'Transitional Objects', a key concept within Object Relations Theory, could offer a means of better understanding how patients and professionals engage with digital technology within mental health services particularly.