Collating the best available evidence, researchers conducted a comprehensive literature review exploring how technology has been used to engage young people in face-to-face clinical services, as an adjunct to face-to-face treatment and the interventions employed to promote the uptake of technologies by professionals in practice. Adding to the evidence, focus groups were conducted with both young people and clinicians on how best to integrate technology into practice.
• Further research is required to explore the role of technology in face-to-face clinical practice, both for engagement and as an adjunct therapeutic tool. It is unclear what intervention, if any, will increase the uptake of technology into any given healthcare setting. It is clear that it is a complex problem that involves tackling barriers at the organisational, individual, and technology level.
• Our research indicates, however, that whatever the intervention type, clinicians should be actively engaged in the professional development process. Wherever possible, meaningful engagement should be facilitated by interactive interventions and the provision of feedback.
• The best mode of contact for any given client should be established in a shared decision-making process between clinician and client, and the preferred method will be the most reliable for engagement.
• Any formal integration of technology and treatment should have a clear rationale and benefit to treatment.
• Evidence-based resources should be developed to supplement the uptake of technology in healthcare to guide best practice and clarify ambiguities in duty of care.
• There is a need to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, safety and effectiveness of those technologies already being informally integrated into practice.
• Organisational policy that does not reflect the aim to integrate technology and practice should be amended, and clinicians should have paid time to explore and collaboratively learn about technologies. Ideally, professional development programs should be guided by the expertise of young people.
Blog: Evidence must evolve to match the breakneck trajectory of digital progress
(Alice Montague, lead author)