Anglia Ruskin University
Efstathopoulou_et_al_2022.PDF (299.26 kB)

Exploring the ability of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to respond to new valuable knowledge: the influence of professionals and internal organisational processes

Download (299.26 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-30, 20:14 authored by Lida Efstathopoulou, Paul Sanderson, Hilary Bungay
Purpose Health policies in England highlight the need for CAMHS to embed new knowledge in practice, yet evidence remains scarce about the services’ ability to learn from the external environment. The paper presents a critical analysis of the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)’ ability to implement new knowledge through the lens of absorptive capacity, an organisation’s ability to identify, assimilate and utilise new valuable knowledge. Design 16 semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff from the CAMHS department of a mental health organisation in England to explore the services’ absorptive capacity. Findings Professionals were identified having an impact on the main absorptive capacity components in the following ways: professional background and perceived reliability of knowledge sources appeared to affect knowledge identification; informal communication was found to facilitate knowledge assimilation and exploitation; trust was found to enable knowledge exploitation, particularly between senior management and frontline professionals. At an organisational level, team meetings and internal reporting were identified as enablers to knowledge assimilation and exploitation, while organisational hierarchy and patient data management systems were identified as barriers to knowledge assimilation. No organisational processes were found regarding knowledge identification, indicating an imbalanced investment in the main components of absorptive capacity. Originality The study offers novel insights into the learning ability of CAMHS through the lens of absorptive capacity. Practical Implications Investing in these underpinning factors of absorptive capacity can assist CAMHS with capitalising on new knowledge that is valuable to service provision.



  • Yes



Issue number


Page range


Publication title

Mental Health Review Journal





File version

  • Accepted version


  • eng

Legacy posted date


Legacy creation date


Legacy Faculty/School/Department

Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care

Usage metrics

    ARU Outputs


    No categories selected