The challenge of routine follow-up in e-mental health services

Abstract

In a recent editorial on the future of e-mental health, suggest evaluation is challenging, as practice is moving faster than the evidence base can be established. The authors recently explored client responsiveness to a follow-up email after a single session of web-based counselling for problem gambling. Follow-up was provided to all clients except those who actively elected to opt-out. While client follow-up is logistically easier to deliver and receive online, it imposes new challenges in terms of obtaining a reasonable response rate. The findings of this evaluation suggest follow-up often requires a clinical response as well as helping clients reconnect with services. Future evaluations should consider building in therapeutic support options at every client contact, especially given low response rates within community settings.

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