Video chat therapist assistance in an adaptive digital intervention for anxiety and depression: Reflections From participants and therapists

Brooke Andrews, Britt Klein, Denise Corboy, Suzanne McLaren, Shaun Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to qualitatively explore participant and therapist experiences of the therapeutic alliance, perceived benefits, challenges, and areas for improvement when using video chat as a mode of therapist assistance within an adaptive digital mental health intervention. In total, 74 semistructured interviews were completed with participants and therapists who participated in an adaptive clinical trial. The participant interviews explored experiences of attending a clinical assessment via video chat and experiences of receiving low-or high-intensity therapist assistance via video chat. Interviews completed with therapists explored their experience of administrating a clinical assessment tool and delivering therapist assistance, both via video chat. Reflexive thematic analysis identified four themes: using video chat, characteristics of therapeutic relationships, task-specific experiences, and utility and adoption of video chat. Both participants and therapists were able to adapt to the modality of video chat and develop positive therapeutic alliances. They reported satisfaction with video chat for conducting clinical assessments and delivering therapist assistance. Concerns were identified by both participants and therapists with lowintensity therapist assistance. This study identified elements of task-specific experiences and human characteristics as more influential in participant and therapist experience than the modality of video chat technology. Implications for assessing suitability for the modality of video chat and low-and high-intensity models of therapist assistance are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume54
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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