Assessing professionals' adoption readiness for eMental health: Development and validation of the eMental health adoption readiness scale

Milou A Feijt*, Yvonne A W De Kort, Joyce H D M Westerink, Joyce J P A Bierbooms, Inge M B Bongers, Wijnand A Ijsselsteijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background:
The last few decades have witnessed significant advances in the development of digital tools and applications for mental health care. Despite growing evidence for their effectiveness, acceptance and use of these tools in clinical practice remain low. Hence, a validated and easy-to-use instrument for assessing professionals’ readiness to adopt eMental health (EMH) is necessary to gain further insights into the process of EMH adoption and facilitate future research on this topic.

Objective:
The aim of this study is to develop and validate an instrument for assessing mental health care professionals’ readiness to adopt EMH.

Methods:
Item generation was guided by literature and inputs from mental health care professionals and experts in survey development. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted on an initial set of 29 items completed by a sample of mental health care professionals (N=432); thereafter, the scale was reduced to 15 items in an iterative process. The factor structure thus obtained was subsequently tested using a confirmatory factor analysis with a second sample of mental health care professionals (N=363). The internal consistency, convergent validity, and predictive validity of the eMental Health Adoption Readiness (eMHAR) Scale were assessed.

Results:
Exploratory factor analysis resulted in a 3-factor solution with 15 items. The factors were analyzed and labeled as perceived benefits and applicability of EMH, EMH proactive innovation, and EMH self-efficacy. These factors were confirmed through a confirmatory factor analysis. The total scale and subscales showed a good internal consistency (Cronbach α=.73-.88) along with acceptable convergent and predictive relationships with related constructs.

Conclusions:
The constructed eMHAR Scale showed a conceptually interpretable 3-factor structure having satisfactory characteristics and relationships with relevant concepts. Its ease of use allows for quick acquisition of data that can contribute to understanding and facilitating the process of adoption of EMH by clinical professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28518
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume23
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • emental health
  • adoption of innovation
  • Mental health care
  • SCALE DEVELOPMENT

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