TASK Study (Telemental health And task Shifting)
This study is exploring two approaches — tele-health and provider task sharing — as approaches to expand capacity of behavioral ehealth services in primary care.
Older adults with depression typically present to primary care rather than specialty mental health treatment. Unfortunately, their depression is often un- or undertreated, as the demand for mental health services is greater than the supply of trained providers. Technology is one method to improve access to care by making evidence-based psychosocial interventions (EBPIs) readily accessible. A second method comes from global mental health research, demonstrating that task sharing can equip non-specialists to provide effective mental health care. This study combines these two approaches, exploring how technology-enhanced EBPI could be used by frontline primary care staff (e.g., nurses, medical assistants) to expand workforce capacity to deliver acceptable, sustainable, and effective treatment for depression.
The first part of this study examined barriers and facilitators to task sharing in primary care. This project is funded by the University of Washington ALACRITY Center and the National Institute of Mental Health. Find out more here. Preliminary data were presented in a symposium at the 2020 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) virtual conference.
A subset of this study is examining the rapid adoption of telehealth for remote care, including mental health care, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will collect data from a national sample of providers using both surveys and qualitative interviews.
OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE
Study status: Survey recruitment is open through the end of 2020. We invite you to participate (link here) if you currently work in primary care in the U.S. as a:
- Behavioral health provider (e.g., psychologists, counselors, SUDP/CDPs, psychiatrist, clinical social worker),
- Medical provider (e.g., physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant),
- Clinical staff member (e.g., pharmacist, RN, case manager, medical assistant), and/or
- Clinic administrator/manager