Doctor of Nursing Practice
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
: Telemental Health, Children and adolescents, Families, Program evaluation
Dr. Ann Becker
DNP Project Chair
Dr. Ann Becker
DNP Project Member Name
Dr. Pamela Aselton
DNP Project Outside Member Name
Mrs. Mary Giannetti
Background: Telemental Health has been established as an effective model of care in the adult population. There are few studies that addressed the effects of providing child and parent telehealth services in underserved communities where mental health services are sparse. Families who attend face to face mental health support report high levels of satisfaction, show increased knowledge about mental illness/treatment, and youth have a lower risk of relapse.
Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to evaluate an innovative Telemental Health model offering timely social/behavioral health support for children/families’ mental health services in rural Massachusetts.
Methods: Process evaluation included assessing technology functionality and patient parents’ satisfaction. Project outcomes measured improvements in reported family communication, caregiver strain, and student clinical outcomes, based upon the following screenings and assessments: Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9), Generalized Anxiety Scale (GAD-7) and PROMIS pediatric self-administered scale.
Results: Teens and parents were satisfied with the service quality of technology accessibility and convenience. Students noted increased communication with parents (94.1%), peers (88.24%) and teachers (82.3%). This included increased involvement in school (64.6). Teens who reported parent active involvement in the program showed higher percent of increased communication. Teen’s clinical outcomes showed continuous improvement in mental health assessment scores.
Conclusions/implications: Families are an integral part of their teens’ care. Shortages of child and adolescent mental health in underserved communities are expected to continue. However, the rapid growth of reliable and affordable telecommunication technologies could effectively include family participation and improve clinical outcomes for children and their families.
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