Logging into therapy: Parent attitudes and intentions to use computer-based therapies for youth mental health

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Abstract

Objectives: The first aim of this study was to describe parental attitudes towards and intentions to access, computer-based therapies for youth mental health problems. The second aim was to assess parental factors (demographic and clinical factors, personality, technology factors, mental health knowledge and attitudes, and knowledge of computer-based therapies) predicting attitudes and intentions to access computer-based therapies for youth. Method: Three hundred and seventy-three Australian parents completed an online survey measuring: demographics; mental health service experience; personality; technology factors; mental health knowledge and attitudes; perceived benefits, problems, and helpfulness of computer-based therapies; and intentions to access services. Results: Approximately 50% of parents reported accessing support for their child's mental health, yet only 6% had used a computer-based therapy. The majority of parents strongly endorsed all benefits of computer-based therapies, and appeared relatively less concerned by potential service problems. Computer-based therapies were perceived as somewhat to extremely helpful by 87% of parents and 94% indicated that they would utilise a computer-based therapy if their child required support and one was offered to them. Parental knowledge of computer-based therapies significantly predicted perceived helpfulness ({increment} F= 19.23 (1301), p= <.001) and intentions to access ({increment} F= 10.91 (1288), p=.001) computer-based therapies, above that of parent demographic characteristics, clinical factors, and engagement with technology. Conclusions: Australian parents hold positive attitudes to the use of computer-based therapies.

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Sweeney, G. M., Donovan, C. L., March, S., & Laurenson, S. D. (2015). Logging into therapy: Parent attitudes and intentions to use computer-based therapies for youth mental health. Internet Interventions, 2(4), 437–445. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2015.11.001

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