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ACT Together: Using Technology to Facilitate Service Integration for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities

Funding Source

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Administration for Community Living, 90IFDV0005

Project Period

9/30/2018 - 9/29/2023

Principal Investigator

Sarah Lord, PhD (Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College)

Other Project Staff

Mary Brunette, MD (Co-I); Gary Morse, PhD (Consultant); Chris Burns, MFA (Technology Partner)

Project Summary

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is an evidence-based, team-delivered intensive mental health treatment model to support integrated care for individuals with serious psychiatric disability and foster community living and participation.  Despite a strong evidence base, ACT delivery is time and resource intensive. Technology can improve care coordination and communication among team members and foster active treatment planning and engagement by clients.

The goal of this 3-year project is to leverage the successful technologies developed through the team’s NIDILRR-supported Development Center to Enhance Delivery of Evidence-Based Supported Employment with Technology (CSET) to create a technology platform, called ACT Together, to enhance ACT service delivery for consumers with serious psychiatric disability.

In the first year, the team will work with clients and clinician stakeholders to inform adaptation of the technology platform to support ACT service delivery.  In Year 2, we will develop ACT Together using state-of-the-art, state-of-the-science, and industry standard user-centered processes with input from consumers and clinician team stakeholders.  In Year 3, the digital platform will be evaluated in an implementation pilot in two community mental health settings to assess impact on service outcomes, clinician practice efficacy, and client perceived empowerment and care satisfaction.

Public Health Relevance

This project builds on economies of scale to extend a successful digital platform for delivery of supported employment to facilitate implementation of a related team-based community mental health intervention.  The platform components can be easily adapted to include other evidence-based practices to support client outcomes, encourage client engagement, and facilitate care delivery.  Results from this project will inform potential translation and scaling to other community-based service delivery areas, including supported education, supported housing, and care management more broadly.