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Development of child psychiatry with interactive technology

Published: 12 November 2015

eCAP, e-health services for child and adolescent psychiatry, is a newly started EU project with the aim to contribute to a more equal psychiatric care by increasing the possibility for children and youth living in rural areas to meet professionals. The goal is to create an organizational model that can spread to other regions. Researchers at the Department of Health Sciences are involved in evaluating the model.

– This is an interesting project where we will bring together existing technologies and clinical assessment instruments, further develop methods and create efficient psychiatric care, says Per-Olof Egnell, director of the Center for Innovation and eHealth EIC, at Luleå University of Technology.

Modern technology builds bridges

Currently there are not enough psychiatrists and specialists to meet the demand. The capacity of local health services is limited and waiting times are long. In addition the children and their families need to travel far to meet outpatient specialists.

The aim of this project is to develop diagnosis, consultation, supervision, treatment and collaboration between professionals by using modern information technology. One example of this is an internet-based assessment tools to gather information from the children, their families and teachers. Video consultation will be used to bridge the gap between the specialists in psychiatry, primary care staff and school staff that meet the children and their families.

The participants develop the model

The point of departure in the project is a participatory method. All actors, the children themselves, their families and the professionals they meet in psychiatry services and primary care, are participating in the development of the model.
– Children and young people of today who are growing up with computers, tablets and mobile phones can contribute with valuable experiences of interactive technology, says Catrine Kostenius, researcher in Health Science at Luleå University of Technology.

A user-friendly model

The intention is to increase knowledge about mental health and illness in children and adolescents among professionals at the local level, especially in rural areas.
– The working procedures and the methods part of the model are supporting prevention, consultation and treatment close to where the child lives, says Eva Lindgren, researcher in Nursing at Luleå University of Technology.

The results are expected to provide a more equal access to specialist care, outpatient care and more effective use of specialist services. Another expected result is an effective and user-friendly organizational model.
– We want to work together to develop a model that can spread to other regions, says Gunvor Gard, researcher in Physiotherapy at Luleå University of Technology.

Experienced researchers

The international project group consists of participants from Finland, Norway, Scotland and Sweden with extensive experience in this interdisciplinary field. The role of the research group from Luleå University of Technology is to evaluate the model being tested in Norway, Finland and Scotland, and at the moment they are working intensively to develop ways to evaluate. The County Council in Norrbotten participates as associate partner following the development of the model which can be useful in the future.

Participants from Luleå University of Technology:

– Eva Lindgren, senior lecturer in nursing. She has conducted research on the transition from child and adolescent psychiatry, adult psychiatry.
– Catrine Kostenius, associate professor of Health Science. She has research experience of developing health promotion interventions with interactive technology together with children and adolescents.
– Gunvor Gard, professor in the physical therapy, She has experience in evaluating large EU projects.
– Per-Olof Egnell, director of the Centre for Innovation and eHealth. EIC.


Catrine Kostenius

Catrine Kostenius, Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 493288
Organisation: Nursing, Nursing and Medical Technology, Department of Health, Education and Technology
Eva Lindgren

Eva Lindgren, Senior Lecturer, Head of Division

Phone: +46 (0)920 492219
Organisation: Nursing, Nursing and Medical Technology, Department of Health, Education and Technology
Gunvor Gard

Gunvor Gard, Professor emerita

Organisation: Health, Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Health, Education and Technology
Per-Olof Egnell

Per-Olof Egnell, Operational Manager

Phone: +46 (0)920 492089
Organisation: eHealth Innovation Centre, Department of Health, Education and Technology