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Table 2 Recommendations for introduction of novel technological applications for mental health care in low resource settings

From: Lessons learned through piloting a community-based SMS referral system for common mental health disorders used by female community health volunteers in rural Nepal



1. Conduct qualitative assessments prior to implementing new technology

Qualitative methods accompanied by demonstration of new technology can be used to determine acceptability, feasibility, and other potential implementation barriers

2. Consider how stigma related to mental illness impacts use of technology

In settings with high stigma against mental illness, consider how technology could be used to address anonymity and reduce risk of breaching confidentiality

3. Assure that adequate services are in place for mental health care

When piloting new technology, assure availability of basic mental health services to reduce risk of low adoption because of perceived lack of care/supportive human resources or infrastructure

4. Address perceived need for both care and technological solutions

Prior to implementation, explore community and health worker perceptions of need, and address these needs alongside technical skills in trainings

5. Explore multiple stakeholder groups for adopting technology

Given the potential for differential uptake of technology, pilot with multiple stakeholder groups (e.g., community health workers, teachers, community groups, religious leaders)