Even though e-mental health services have the potential to increase reach to evidence based care, the public has tended to view them less favorably than in-person therapy. This study examined whether individual intentions for using psychotherapy are influenced by the service’s target—supporting oneself or supporting a loved-one. The sample consisted of 78 parents who were randomized to one of these two conditions: reading descriptions of interventions aimed at treating their own anxiety disorder (self-condition) or at helping them treat their child’s anxiety (loved-one condition). In both conditions, we compared parent intentions to receive treatment through in-person and unguided digital intervention mediums. Parents in the loved-one condition with no previous experience of psychotherapy showed no significant differences in their intentions to use the two intervention mediums. However, in all other study conditions, participants’ intentions favored in-person therapy as the intervention medium. Thematic analysis suggests that participants’ preference for unguided interventions when the focus was on supporting a loved one revolved around the perceived lack of need for an interpersonal therapeutic relationship for this intervention’s target. Our results imply that technology may have an advantage when used to train people to support their loved-ones’ mental health.
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© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (all)
- Computer Networks and Communications