Advances in Asynchronous Telehealth Technologies to Improve Access and Quality of Mental Health Care for Children and Adolescents

  • Kathleen Myers
  • Janet R. Cummings
  • Bonnie Zima
  • Ron Oberleitner
  • David Roth
  • Sally M. Merry
  • Yvonne Bohr
  • Karolina Stasiak
Article

Abstract

Although mental health (MH) disorders are common among children and adolescents, most youth in need of services do not receive care. Among those who do access the mental health care system, quality of care remains poor. Telehealth technologies have the potential to improve access and quality of MH care for this population. In this article, we provide an overview of several promising asynchronous telemental health (A-TMH) technologies that target one or more dimensions of access to MH care, the quality of MH care, or both: (1) patient registries and tracking systems, (2) store and forward telehealth, (3) mobile health (mHealth) interventions, and (4) internet self-administered therapies. Next, we draw on two conceptual frameworks to identify key dimensions of health care access and quality that may be targeted by these A-TMH technologies. There are, however, a number of major challenges to the broader dissemination of these tools including a dearth of available research on their efficacy and effectiveness; the monetary cost associated with developing, acquiring, implementing, and maintaining these technologies; and the time cost associated with training on and implementation of these technologies. As researchers, practitioners, and policymakers may pursue strategies to overcome these challenges, A-TMH technologies have the potential to help create a more accessible, equitable, evidence-based, and patient-centered mental health care system for youth.

Keywords

Asynchronous telehealth Access to care Quality of care Store and forward mHealth Online therapies Children 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineSeattle Children’s HospitalSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Policy and ManagementEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Center for Health Services and Society, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLost AngelesUSA
  6. 6.Behavior Imaging Solutions, IncBoiseUSA
  7. 7.Mind and Body Works, IncHonoluluUSA
  8. 8.Werry Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  9. 9.Faculty of Health, Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  10. 10.Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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