Exploring mental health providers' interest in using web and mobile-based tools in their practices

Stephen M. Schueller*, Jason J. Washburn, Matthew Price

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


A growing number of Internet sites and mobile applications are being developed intended for use in clinical practice. However, during the development process (e.g., creating features and determining use cases), the needs and interests of providers are often overlooked. We explored providers' interests using a mixed-methods approach incorporating both qualitative and quantitative research methods. A first study used an interview approach to identify the challenges providers faced, tools they used, and any use of computers and apps specifically. Fifteen providers from both the United States and Canada completed the interview and recordings were transcribed and analyzed using a constructivist grounded theory approach. Four primary themes were identified including challenges, potential tools, access and usability. A second study used a brief survey completed by 132 providers at a large healthcare system to explore current use of and potential interest in Internet and mobile technologies. Although many providers (80.9%) reported recommending some form of technology to patients, these were mostly Internet websites that were predominantly informational/psychoeducational in nature. Overall, these studies combine to suggest a strong interest in websites and apps for use in clinical settings while highlighting potential areas (ease of use, patient security and privacy) that should be considered in the design and deployment of these tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalInternet Interventions
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Clinical practice
  • Design
  • Mobile applications
  • Needs finding
  • Qualitative methods
  • Survey methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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