Perspectives of Family Members on the use of Technology to Deliver Mental Health Services to Youth Receiving Treatment for a First-Episode Psychosis

Poster A88, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Shalini Lal1,2,3, Winnie Daniel2; 1University of Montreal, 2University of Montreal’s Hospital Research Center (CR-CHUM), 3Douglas Mental Health University Institute

Purpose: This study describes the perspectives of family members on using technology to deliver mental health services to young people receiving specialized services for a first-episode psychosis. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive study, using focus group methods was conducted with 12 family members of young people receiving treatment in a specialized early intervention program for psychosis, on their perspectives of using the Internet and mobile technologies to receive mental health-related information, services, and supports. Results: The results are synthesized into three core categories: 1) family members’ past experience with technology, 2) concerns about the use of technology, and 3) benefits and recommendations for technology-enabled mental health services. Family members were diverse in terms of their past experience on using technology to access mental health information, services, and supports. Several participants raised the issue of confidentiality and concerns about the potentially negative impact of technology on social interactions and recovery process of youth. Concurrently, many participants expressed a desire to access information on psychosis and its treatment through online resources; and, recommended the use of online resources to increase access to peer support and information from the treatment team. Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of using technology to provide information, support, and education to family members of young people receiving services for a first-episode psychosis, and providing guidance on how to access valid, reliable and relevant resources online. Family concerns about confidentiality and the impact of using technology on relapse and recovery are also important considerations for service development and delivery.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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