Research to Clinical Practice-Youth seeking mental health information online and its impact on the first steps in the patient journey.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Online searches about anxiety and depression are recorded every 3-5 s. As such, information and communication technologies (ICT) have enormous potential to enable or impair help-seeking and patient-professional interactions. Youth studies indicate that ICT searches are undertaken before initial mental health consultations, but no publications have considered how this online activity affects the first steps of the patient journey in youth mental health settings. METHODS: State-of-the-art review using an iterative, evidence mapping approach to identify key literature and expert consensus to synthesize and prioritise clinical and research issues. RESULTS: Adolescents and young adults are more likely to seek health advice via online search engines or social media platforms than from a health professional. Young people not only search user-generated content and social media to obtain advice and support from online communities but increasingly contribute personal information online. CONCLUSIONS: A major clinical challenge is to raise professional awareness of the likely impact of this activity on mental health consultations. Potential strategies range from modifying the structure of clinical consultations to ensure young people are able to disclose ICT activities related to mental health, through to the development and implementation of 'internet prescriptions' and a youth-focused 'toolkit'.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Scott, J; Hockey, S; Ospina-Pinillos, L; Doraiswamy, PM; Alvarez-Jimenez, M; Hickie, I

Published Date

  • March 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 145 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 301 - 314

PubMed ID

  • 34923619

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1600-0447

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/acps.13390


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States