Individualized Intervention to Support Mental Health Recovery Through Implementation of Digital Tools into Clinical Care: Feasibility Study

Community Ment Health J. 2021 Feb 21;1-12. doi: 10.1007/s10597-021-00798-6. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Myriad digital tools exist to support mental health but there are multiple barriers to using these tools in routine care. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of an intervention incorporating a support role to help the clinical team identify and use technology to promote recovery. The technology specialist intervention is 3 months in duration and comprises four stages: goal setting, researching and evaluating tools, demonstrating and selecting tools, and ongoing support. We implemented the intervention in a community mental health center and a dual diagnosis treatment program, working with eight clients and their case managers. Clients and case managers willingly engaged with the technology specialist and found the intervention beneficial. Integration and collaboration with the care team facilitated implementation of the technology specialist in these real-world settings. Clients reported that the intervention made it easy to try a digital tool. Six of the eight participants stated that they made substantial progress toward their goals. The technology specialist is a promising new role for mental health care delivery to augment traditional services and enhance individualized recovery.

Keywords: Apps; Digital health; Mental health; Patient-centered intervention; Qualitative research; Smartphone; Technology; mHealth.