Isaac Navicare Pilot Evaluation - Wesley Research Institute
Wesley Research Institute

Our new study published this week in PLOS ONE demonstrated how supportive mental health care navigation can help reduce healthcare inequities faced by people living in rural and remote Queensland.

Kelly McGrath, Care Navigator, and Dr Olivia Fisher, Senior Research Fellow led an evaluation of Isaac Navicare’s uptake and effectiveness during the initial 12-month pilot.

Although Isaac locals had a strong preference for face-to-face mental health services, there are limited local mental health provider options and long waiting lists. Our research shows that supportive care navigation was key to the uptake and acceptance of tele-mental health services for Isaac Navicare clients during the pilot.

The Care Navigation team tailor referrals and support to each person’s needs, including financial needs, and reassures clients that if they didn’t connect well with their provider, Navicare can link them with an alternate clinician. These elements ensure a supportive entry into the mental health system and substantially increase the acceptability of tele-mental health.

Kelly McGrath

Isaac Navicare clients were more willing to trial tele-mental health services when they had built rapport and trust with a local Care Navigator who then referred them to an appropriate service.

Care navigation is an important tool for increasing access to mental health services. Attitudes towards telehealth have changed a lot since before the COVID-19 pandemic, but even though there is strong evidence that tele-mental health can be just as effective as face-to-face services, we have a long way to go before we have widespread acceptance.

Dr Olivia Fisher

Thank you to Mitsubishi Development, Foundation Partner of Isaac Navicare, who funded this research. Wesley Research Institute would also like to thank all of the Isaac Navicare clients and their family members who participated in this research.

The Wesley Research Institute pilot evaluation was conducted prior to data collection commencing for The Bridging Study and is separate to The Bridging Study led by Queensland University of Technology.

Keep up to date with Isaac Navicare.

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