Transnational Policy Solution – an update

The eMEN work package ‘Transnational policy solution for e-mental health implementation’ has been introduced in the Summer newsletter. We have discussed its goal to enhance the e-mental health implementation process, and how the policy solution will be developed by performing a series of interrelated actions involving multiple stakeholders.

Within the past few months, the development of the policy solution has advanced considerably and several tasks have been completed. After gathering relevant literature on national and European level (such as policy documents, scientific papers, legislations and public documents), and analysing the level of e-mental health developments in each partner country, interviews with relevant stakeholder groups within each partner country have been conducted.

The implementation of e-mental health interventions involves and affects a wide variety of stakeholders, each having a great impact on whether an intervention will be successfully implemented or not. Policy makers for example need to enable the implementation by establishing adequate frameworks, e.g. through strategies or policies; insurances are required to adopt adequate reimbursement schemes; and patients need to be open to actually use a product. The factors, which determine whether a stakeholder is willing to facilitate, implement, or use an e-mental health intervention, may differ among the different stakeholder groups. While, for instance, cost-effectiveness may not be a primary concern for patients, it presumably plays a major role in the decision-making process of a health insurance fund on whether to reimburse an intervention or not. On the contrary, patients might be mainly concerned with usability and the protection of their privacy. Yet other factors such as the underlying level of evidence or the practicability may be decisive for whether professionals are willing to implement and use an e-mental health product.

Consequently, with a view to increase the likelihood of implementation, it is essential to take each stakeholder’s perspective into account during the development process of the transnational policy solution. Hence, the eMEN partners have been interviewing a diverse group of stakeholders, such as health care policy makers, patient organisations, SME’s, providers and professionals throughout Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. So far, over 30 interviews have been conducted and more are planned.

Together with the identified literature, the insights from the interviews will build a strong basis for developing feasible recommendations on how to support the implementation of e-mental health in the participating countries and how to find solutions to address the previously identified barriers of implementation in eMEN partner countries.

Are you interested in learning more about the different challenges of the implementation processes of e-mental health, and how these may differ between eMEN partner countries? Join us in Berlin in November 2018, when we will present our findings at the next public German eMEN Seminar.

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