Comparison of perceived barriers and treatment preferences associated with internet-based and face-to-face psychological treatment of depression
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One of the major reasons that internet-based psychological treatments are strongly advocated is the belief that they may enable consumers to overcome many of the barriers to treatment otherwise encountered in seeking face to face treatment. A corollary to this belief is the assumption that many consumers may then be more likely to prefer to receive treatment via the internet because of the reduced barriers to care offered by internet-based treatments. However, there has been no formal examination of the barriers perceived by consumers to internet-based treatments in comparison to face to face treatment to ascertain whether these hypothesized differences impact on treatment preferences. This study compared consumer perceptions of barriers to treatment for both internet and face-to-face psychological treatments for depression. Of interest was whether consumers continue to report a preference for face-to-face treatment over internet-based treatment, even if perceptions of barriers to care were deemed greater for traditional than internet based delivery of services. Potential consumers of a structured online psychological program for workplace depression were targeted. An online survey was accessed by fifty-three employed individuals (female = 35, male = 18) with ages ranging from 18 to 60 (M = 35.57, SD = 12.15). Results indicated that participants perceived that internet-based treatment was associated with fewer barriers than face-to-face treatment for depression. Participants perceived that time constraints and participation restrictions would make it more difficult to access face-to-face treatment than internet-based treatment. However, the participants reported that they would be more likely to access face-to-face treatment for depression than internet-based treatment. These results suggest that there is a need to further investigate ways in which consumers can be encouraged to consider engaging in internet-based treatment.
International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning
Psychology not elsewhere classified