The main problems are insufficient numbers of psychiatrists/specialists, long waiting times, limited capacity among primary care services and a heavy travel burden for both patients/their families and for outpatient specialists. This is potentially damaging in conditions, which are sensitive to neurodevelopmental maturation processes.
There is a need to develop IT-based solutions, which increase both the quantity and quality of the available services in peripheral areas. Furthermore, there is a need to support multiprofessional collaboration between professionals working with the children, adolescents and their families (health and social services, daycare and schools).
The aim of this project is to develop diagnosis, consultation, supervision, treatment and collaboration between professionals by using modern information technology - videoconferencing (VC) systems and the Development and Wellbeing Assessment (DAWBA: http://www.dawba.com/), a computerised structured instrument for gathering diagnostic data from families, teachers and young people themselves). This will increase the knowledge of local multiprofessional experts about mental health and mental disorders of children and adolescents. This supports both preventive work and treatment close to the child and his/her developmental environments (school, daycare etc.). The service mentioned above will use VC to bridge the distance between specialists, primary care, GPs, schools, patients and their families.
The expected results are improved and more equal access to timely outpatient psychiatry services, specialist evaluation and treatment according to best practice, improved capacity in primary care and more rational use of specialist services. One of the project’s outcomes will be an operational model resulting from a comprehensive evaluation of the implementations in the participating countries that can be disseminated to other regions.
The eCAP project builds on the existing services used in child and adolescent psychiatry in the participating regions, which will be further developed, enriched and extended to areas that have not implemented the services yet.