Therapist and Treatment-Seeking Students’ Perceptions of Telemental Health
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There is limited research on client and clinician perceptions of telemental health and how these perceptions differ. The current study examines interest in and perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of telemental health, from both college students, who are seeking mental health services, and clinicians. College student clients (N = 270) and therapists (N = 46) were surveyed to determine perceptions (e.g., benefits, concerns, preference, comfort) of several telemental health modalities. Both clinicians and clients reported interest in telemental health, endorsing convenience, frequency of interaction, and ease of access to previous session’s materials as advantages. However, clinicians and student clients also endorsed at least mild concerns about the efficacy and confidentiality of therapy, the effect on the therapeutic relationship, and technology concerns; clinicians endorsed significantly greater concerns about telemental health than clients. Dissemination of research demonstrating the effectiveness of telemental health to both clients and clinicians is necessary.
KeywordsTelemental health E-health Acceptability Client preferences
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The current study was conducted in compliance with APA ethical standards. Institutional review board approval was gained before the collection of data and participants provided informed consent. Client participants did not provide identifying information. Therapist participants were given the option of providing their name and email address if they were interested in an incentive. This information was obtained in a separate survey that was not linked to their data.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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