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Associate lecturer co-authors study on young people’s perspectives on digital technology and mental healthcare

Philip Archard, Associate Lecturer on our Professional Doctorate in Advanced practice and research: social work and social care, co-authored the recently published Exploring young people’s perspectives on digital technology and mental healthcare: pilot study findings

The study involved in-depth interviews with a small group of young people involved with child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) about their views on the use of digital technology in care delivery. The use of different digital tools and resources, such as videoconferencing, apps and email, provides a range of opportunities to expand mental healthcare beyond the clinic setting, supporting sustainable delivery and accessibility. However, there are a range of issues to consider in terms of choice and convenience and young people’s own preferences. In the study, various factors were identified regarding the participants’ experiences, relating to their needs, skills and confidence in using different digital technologies, including judgments they made about themselves in relation to the peers. The findings highlight the importance of avoiding a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to integrating digital technology in CAMHS.

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Philip said:

“I was really pleased to support this work with colleagues from the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham. It was a small, exploratory study, but provided some really valuable insights into the role of different forms of digital technology in CAMHS and the importance of ensuring young people’s perspectives are prioritised in research on this topic. The study was also led by a CAMHS professional, my colleague Cara Maddison. For me, this is really important too, and can add a valuable dimension in ensuring there is scope for the real-world application of the learning involved.”

You can find the study on the RCNi website