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A survey study of attitudes toward, and preferences for, e-therapy interventions for eating disorder psychopathology

journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2020, 00:00 authored by Jake LinardonJake Linardon, Adrian Shatte, H Tepper, Matthew Fuller-TyszkiewiczMatthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz
Objective: E-therapy shows promise as a solution to the barriers that stand in the way of people receiving eating disorder (ED) treatment. Despite the potential for e-therapy to reduce the well-known treatment gap, little is known about public views and perspectives on this mode of intervention delivery. This study explored attitudes toward, and preferences for, e-therapy among individuals spanning the spectrum of eating pathology. Method: Survey data assessing e-therapy attitudes and preferences were analyzed from 713 participants recruited from the public. Participants were categorized into one of five subgroups based on the type of self-reported ED symptoms and severity/risk level, ranging from high risk to a probable threshold or subthreshold ED. Results: Attitudes toward e-therapies appeared to be relatively positive; participants largely supported health care insurance coverage of costs for e-therapies, and were optimistic about the wide-ranging benefits of e-therapy. Although three-quarters of participants expressed a preference for face-to-face therapy, a significant percentage of participants (∼50%) reported an intention to use an e-therapy program for current or future eating problems, with intention ratings highest (70%) among those with probable bulimia nervosa (BN). Variables associated with an e-therapy preference were not currently receiving psychotherapy, more positive e-therapy attitudes, and greater stigma associated with professional help-seeking. Variables associated with e-therapy intentions were more positive e-therapy attitudes and a probable BN classification. Conclusions: Present findings have important implications for increasing online intervention acceptance, engagement, and help-seeking among those at different stages of illness.

History

Journal

International journal of eating disorders

Volume

53

Issue

6

Pagination

907 - 916

Publisher

Wiley

Location

Chichester, Eng.

ISSN

0276-3478

eISSN

1098-108X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal