Evaluation of a three-phase implementation program in enhancing e-mental health adoption within Indigenous primary healthcare organisations [2020]

A three-phase implementation program was carried out to support Indigenous primary healthcare organisations in Australia to integrate e-mental health approaches into the day-to-day practice. The present study aimed to evaluate the process and the effectiveness of the program.

A concurrent triangulation design was employed to collect and compare quantitative and qualitative data from organisations that participated in the implementation program (case studies) to those that participated in training only (non-case studies). Quantitative methods, i.e., t-tests and descriptive statistics, were used to measure outcomes relating to the frequency of e-mental health usage and levels of organisational readiness. Qualitative data were analysed separately, using theoretical thematic analysis, to gain an in depth understanding of the implementation process. The findings were integrated and interpreted within the implementation science literature.

The case studies evidenced greater use of e-mental health approaches than the non-case studies. They also demonstrated increased organisational readiness over the course of the implementation program. The program helped organisations to work and improve on essential aspects within the organisation so that they better supported e-mental health adoption. The key areas addressed were Information Technology resources and infrastructure, leadership and support, policy and protocols around e-mental health utilisation and its integration into practice.

By addressing and improving essential aspects relating to e-mental health implementation, the program helped organisations to increase organisational readiness and enhance uptake of e-mental health approaches.

Buaphrao Raphiphatthana, Michelle Sweet, Stefanie Puszka, Kylie Dingwall & Tricia Nagel
BMC Health Services Research volume 20, Article number: 576 (2020)