College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Department

Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

Barry Nierenberg

Second Advisor

Ana I Fins

Third Advisor

Craig Marker

Keywords

computers, internet-based intervention, mental health, psychology, telehealth, telepsychology

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, with the development and expansion of computer- and internet-based services (e.g., psychoeducational, intervention, and testing programs), the integration of technology with the treatment of mental health disorders has sparked one of the most debated topics in the mental health profession. With no clear end for this debate in sight, many believe that clinicians wish to reach a consensus and adopt a universal stance on computer-based psychological services so that discussion and research can be shifted to make meaningful contributions for the future. Although paramount, many licensed psychologists have yet to state their stance of whether they believe that internet-based therapeutic methods can be helpful; with fewer having declared whether they would be willing to utilize such techniques if given the opportunity. For this reason, the current study aimed to create a multi-focused survey to explore the attitudes of currently licensed and future clinicians (current Ph.D. or Psy.D. doctoral candidates) to explore differences in their acceptance of tele-health therapeutic interventions. An online survey was created to assess such attitudes across various domains of tele-health, as well as assess acceptance or rejection of such modalities. Clinical training directors, faculty, and students from around the United States, as well as members from the APA Division 12 (clinical psychology) were invited to participate. Binary logistic regression, percentages, and descriptive statistics were utilized to examine the data. Data indicated that no significant differences between currently licensed and future psychologists exist in their endorsement of tele-health modalities. However, it was found that cognitive-behavioral-, cognitive-, behavioral-, and systems-oriented psychologists were significantly more endorsing, and willing to utilize tele-health modes of interventions than were dynamic/analytic, or existential-oriented therapists. Data was further analyzed by gender, age, and the interaction of age * orientation. Results of this study will aid in creating a consensus as to the utilization of tele-health practices and help drive research by demonstrating which modalities (e.g., web camera, e-mail, etc.) and orientations should be the focus of research.

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Psychology Commons

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