The use of digital technologies such as Internet sites and mobile applications, have received much hype in recent years, both in mental health and the NHS more widely. Opinions on these technologies vary; and those at either ends of the viewpoint spectrum see them as either a panacea to overstretched services or as undermining the primacy of the face-to-face patient/clinician relationship.
A recent open access study has endeavored to dig beneath the hype by seeking to understand the opportunities and challenges posed by the use of digital technologies from the perspective of mental health providers. As someone who runs an NHS digital innovation programme I see how practitioners are often overlooked in the development process. This is a big problem because those same practitioners are often critical in influencing the take-up and use of digital technologies by patients. So understanding digital technologies from a practitioner perspective is a welcome addition to research in this field.
I’ve written a review of this study which you can read in full on The Mental Elf site here. The Mental Elf aims to help practitioners find what they need to keep up-to-date with all of the important and reliable mental health research and guidance. They have a team of mental health experts who post blogs every week day with short and snappy summaries that highlight evidence-based publications relevant to mental health practice in the UK and further afield. You can find out more about The Mental Elf here.