Increasing the Acceptability and Expected Outcomes of Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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TÃ©lÃ©med JE SantÃ©. October 7, 2021. doi: 10.1089 / tmj.2021.0393. Online ahead of print.
Background: E-health interventions for mental health have the potential to reduce burdens on health care systems, but large survey studies find low acceptability of these interventions. The COVID-19 pandemic may make attitudes towards e-health more malleable. The present study examined whether an intervention aimed at improving attitudes towards Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) has a greater impact during the COVID-19 pandemic than before the pandemic. Materials and methods: People (NOT = 662) recruited from a large university and the surrounding community who participated in an iCBT acceptability study in 2018 and 2019 were invited to participate in a follow-up survey. In the original study, participants were randomized whether or not to receive a rationale designed to increase iCBT acceptability, and then completed acceptability and outcome expectancy measures for iCBT. Fifty-one participants enrolled in the follow-up study from May to July 2020. They received a rationale for treatment for CBT i (or not) consistent with the randomization of the parent study and redone measures evaluating l acceptability and expectation of outcome for CBT i. Results: Contrary to the hypotheses, the bidirectional analyzes of covariance (ANCOVA) demonstrated that there was no significant interaction between the time point and the justification condition on the acceptability or the expected outcome for the iCBT. There was a significant primary effect of the justification condition on acceptability, so participants who received a treatment justification reported greater acceptability for CBT. There were no significant main weather effects. Conclusion: A rationale for treatment was effective in improving the acceptability of iCBT in a sample of the general population, but not during the COVID-19 pandemic.