JMIR Res Protoc. 2023 Mar 14;12:e41040. doi: 10.2196/41040.
BACKGROUND: Digital transformation is impacting health care delivery. Great market dynamism is bringing opportunities and concerns alike into public discussion. Digital health apps are a vibrant segment where regulation is emerging, with Germany paving the way with its DiGA (Digitale Gesundheitsanwendungen, in German, meaning digital health apps) program. Simultaneously, mental ill-health constitutes a global health concern, and prevalence is expected to worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its containment measures. Portugal and its National Health System may be a useful testbed for digital health interventions.
OBJECTIVE: The paper outlines the protocol for a research project on the attitudes of physicians and potential users toward digital mental health apps to improve access to care, patient outcomes, and reduce the burden of disease of mental ill-health.
METHODS: Web surveys will be conducted to acquire data from the main stakeholders (physicians and the academic community). Data analysis will replicate the statistical analysis performed in the studies from Dahlhausen and Borghouts to derive conclusions regarding the relative acceptance and likelihood of successful implementation of digital mental health apps in Portugal.
RESULTS: The findings of the proposed studies will elicit important information on how physicians and individuals perceive digital mental health app interventions to improve access to care, patient outcomes, and reduce the burden of disease of mental ill-health. Data collection ran between September 26 and November 6, 2022, for the first study and September 20 and October 20, 2022, for the second study. We obtained 160 responses to the first study’s survey and 539 answers to the second study’s survey. Data analysis is concluded, and both studies’ results are expected to be published in 2023.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the studies projected in this research protocol will have implications for researchers and academia, industry, and policy makers concerning the adoption and implementation of digital health mental apps and associated interventions.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/41040.
PMID:36917172 | DOI:10.2196/41040