eTherapy (A pilot study)

O'Doherty, Fiona (2003) eTherapy (A pilot study). Diploma thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This study explores the history and potential role for therapy delivered through elearning. Problems with previous trials are discussed and the future role for blended
therapy is examined. For purposes of this study the author created an online programme focussing on meta-therapy skills, i.e. a general problem-solving programme rather than a problem-specific approach. The programme content was based on established principles of Cognitive Therapy and is called "How to think, Solve Problems and Make Decisions, Part 1".
A pilot study using this programme was conducted in a nonclinical population using both blended learning and face-to-face contact. Only 7 subjects were assessed due to time and resource constraints.

The study is subject to significant limitations. Firstly the number of participants does not allow for statistical analysis and results and conclusions are based on qualitative feedback rather than quantitative analysis. Secondly the content of both the face-to-face interviews and the online content were limited to what could be achieved over a time span of three weeks. Conclusions were based on a combination of the literature review, feedback given by participants in the study and the assessment of the author.

The conclusions reached are (1) that the potential for eTherapy would not be realised through a simple translation of existing therapy into online delivery. Instead etherapy offers the potential to develop an entirely new form of therapy that would have different psychological effects and outcomes for the users. (2) Existing cultural barriers to the development of online therapy arise because of the misperception that it would replace "therapy by therapist" with "therapy by computer", thereby lacking the powerful component of empathy and human contact. However the potential for eTherapy would not be about replacing psychologists but could lead to their expanded role bringing about more effective delivery and new treatment

Item Type: Thesis (Diploma)
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education > E-Learning
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental Health
Divisions: School of Computing > Graduate Diploma in Computing in eLearning
Depositing User: Tim Lawless
Date Deposited: 21 May 2010 11:32
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 14:37

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