• To enhance your understanding of young people’s use of digital technology
• To learn how digital technology can be used to provide mental health services for young people
• To recognise the importance of considering young people’s abilities and preferences when implementing digital interventions
Background Digital technology affords opportunities to expand mental healthcare beyond the clinic setting, supporting sustainable delivery. A pilot qualitative study was undertaken with a view to using the experience gained from it to develop a substantive project in this area.
Aim To identify and better understand the perceived barriers and benefits to using digital technologies when delivering mental healthcare to young people.
Method In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with three young people under the care of a child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) team. The interview data were analysed thematically.
Findings Three main themes were identified from the interviews: digital identity and digital literacy; trusting and accessing digital health resources; and therapeutic relationships, choice and convenience.
Conclusion The findings of this pilot study reinforce the importance of avoiding a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to integrating digital technology in CAMHS. It was also identified that it is important to carefully consider the involvement of parents when conducting mental health research with children and young people.
Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2023.e1671Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Maddison C, Wharrad H, Archard PJ et al (2023) Exploring young people’s perspectives on digital technology and mental healthcare: pilot study findings. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2023.e1671Acknowledgements
This study was supported by a postgraduate studentship funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research and Health Education England. The authors wish to thank Susan Corr for her supervisory support as part of this studentship
Published online: 26 September 2023
Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now