Adapting Evidence-Based Treatments for Digital Technologies: a Critical Review of Functions, Tools, and the Use of Branded Solutions

Peter W. Tuerk, Cindy M. Schaeffer, Joseph F. McGuire, Margo Adams Larsen, Nicole Capobianco, John Piacentini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Purpose of Review: We provide a critical review of digital technologies in evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for mental health with a focus on the functions technologies are intended to serve. The review highlights issues related to clarity of purpose, usability, and assumptions related to EBT technology integration, branding, and packaging. Recent Findings: Developers continue to use technology in creative ways, often combining multiple functions to convey existing EBTs or to create new technology-enabled EBTs. Developers have a strong preference for creating and investigating whole-source, branded solutions related to specific EBTs, in comparison to developing or investigating technology tools related to specific components of behavior change, or developing specific clinical protocols that can be delivered via existing technologies. Summary: Default assumptions that new applications are required for each individual EBT, that EBTs are best served by the use of only one technology solution rather than multiple tools, and that an EBT-specific technology product should include or convey all portions of an EBT slow scientific progress and increase risk of usability issues that negatively impact uptake. We contend that a purposeful, functions-based approach should guide the selection, development, and application of technology in support of EBT delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Keywords

  • Digital
  • Evidence-based treatment
  • Mental health
  • Mobile applications
  • Telehealth
  • eHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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