Preferences for e-mental health services amongst an online Australian sample?

Britt Klein, Suellen Cook

Abstract


This study explored whether differences exist between those who prefer using internet-based mental health services (e-preferers) in comparison to those who prefer traditional face-to-face mental health services (non e-preferers). Gender, age, level of education, relationship status, location of residence, country of birth, previous use of mental health services, specific e-mental health service concerns, perceptions of helpfulness and future use of mental health services were investigated. Two-hundred and eighteen Australians (female=165, male=53) with ages ranging from 18 to 80 (M=36.6, SD=14.5) accessed the online survey. Results indicated that although 77.1% of respondents preferred face-to-face services only 9.6% indicated they would not use e-mental health services. No differences were found between e-preferers and non e-preferers on any demographic variable and on previous mental health service usage, however, several differences regarding perceptions of helpfulness and future use of services and concerns about e-mental health services were observed. In addition, several individual difference variables (stigma, locus of control, learning styles and personality traits) were explored and found to differ between the two groups (stigma, locus of control and personality traits). These results may help inform the future direction of mental health services, including the need to increase public awareness regarding e-mental health services.

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Keywords

mental health; internet interventions; traditional mental health



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology