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Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of digital technologies in mental health systems: a qualitative systematic review to inform a policy framework

Berardi, Chiara, Antonini, Marcello ORCID: 0000-0001-5816-2289, Jordan, Zephanie, Wechtler, Heidi, Paolucci, Francesco and Hinwood, Madeleine (2024) Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of digital technologies in mental health systems: a qualitative systematic review to inform a policy framework. BMC Health Services Research, 24 (1). ISSN 1472-6963

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s12913-023-10536-1

Abstract

Background: Despite the potential for improved population mental health and wellbeing, the integration of mental health digital interventions has been difficult to achieve. In this qualitative systematic review, we aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to the implementation of digital technologies in mental healthcare systems, and map these to an implementation framework to inform policy development. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, Scopus, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for primary research articles published between January 2010 and 2022. Studies were considered eligible if they reported barriers and/or facilitators to the integration of any digital mental healthcare technologies. Data were extracted using EPPI-Reviewer Web and analysed thematically via inductive and deductive cycles. Results: Of 12,525 references identified initially, 81 studies were included in the final analysis. Barriers and facilitators were grouped within an implementation (evidence-practice gap) framework across six domains, organised by four levels of mental healthcare systems. Broadly, implementation was hindered by the perception of digital technologies as impersonal tools that add additional burden of care onto both providers and patients, and change relational power asymmetries; an absence of resources; and regulatory complexities that impede access to universal coverage. Facilitators included person-cantered approaches that consider patients’ intersectional features e.g., gender, class, disability, illness severity; evidence-based training for providers; collaboration among colleagues; appropriate investment in human and financial resources; and policy reforms that tackle universal access to digital health. Conclusion: It is important to consider the complex and interrelated nature of barriers across different domains and levels of the mental health system. To facilitate the equitable, sustainable, and long-term digital transition of mental health systems, policymakers should consider a systemic approach to collaboration between public and private sectors to inform evidence-based planning and strengthen mental health systems. Protocol registration: The protocol is registered on PROSPERO, CRD42021276838.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2024 12:21
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 17:30
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/122346

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