HumanInsight Telehealth information and communication technology access for family caregivers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs
Disabil Health J. 2023 Mar 10:101463. doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2023.101463. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Telehealth is increasingly used to deliver mental health services. However, the potential benefits of telehealth for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs (IDD-MH) may not be fully realized. This study addresses gaps in knowledge about access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) for individuals with IDD-MH from the perspective of their family caregivers.
OBJECTIVE: What factors are associated with access to ICTs among family caregivers of people with IDD-MH who use START services?
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional interview data gathered for START use at the onset of COVID-19. START is a crisis prevention and intervention evidence-based model for people with IDD-MH implemented across the USA. To assess needs during COVID-19, START coordinators conducted interviews with 1455 family caregivers between March and July 2020. A multinomial regression model examined correlates of ICT access, as indicated by an index (poor, limited, and optimal access). Correlates included the level of IDD, age, gender, race, ethnicity, rural setting of the person with IDD-MH, and caregiver status.
RESULTS: Age (ages 23-30 years) and sole caregiver status were significantly associated with limited access (both p ≤ .001). Age (ages 23-30 years and ≥31 years, p < .001), race (Black or African American, p = .001), ethnicity (Hispanic, p = .004), and sole caregiver status (p < .001) were significantly associated with poor access.
CONCLUSIONS: Disparities existed in ICT access for adults, specific racial/ethnic groups, and sole caregiver households. Healthcare policy related to telehealth must consider how ICT access can be equitable for all users with IDD-MH.
PMID:37024396 | DOI:10.1016/j.dhjo.2023.101463
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