Acceptability of psychological treatment to Chinese- and Caucasian-Australians: Internet treatment reduces barriers but face-to-face care is preferred

  • Isabella Choi
  • Louise Sharpe
  • Stephen Li
  • Caroline Hunt
Original Paper



Internet treatments have the potential to improve access, especially for cultural groups who face considerable treatment barriers. This study explored the perceived barriers and likelihood of using Internet and face-to-face treatments for depression among Chinese and Caucasian Australian participants.


Three-hundred ninety-five (289 Chinese, 106 Caucasian) primary care patients completed a questionnaire about depression history, previous help-seeking, perceived barriers to Internet and face-to-face treatment, and likelihood of using either treatment for depressive symptoms.


Internet treatment reduced perceived barriers (including stigma, lack of motivation, concerns of bringing up upsetting feelings, time constraints, transport difficulties, and cost) for both groups to a similar degree, except for time constraints. There were heightened concerns about the helpfulness, suitability, and confidentiality of Internet treatments. Chinese participants and individuals with a probable depression history reported increased perceived barriers across treatments. Both Chinese and Caucasian groups preferred face-to-face treatment across depression severity. However, when age was controlled, there were no significant concerns about Internet treatment, and face-to-face treatment was only preferred for severe depression. Only 12 % of the entire sample refused to try Internet treatment for depression. Endorsement of perceived Internet treatment barriers (including concerns of bringing up upsetting feelings, that treatment would be unhelpful or unsuitable, lack of motivation, cost, cultural sensitivity, and confidentiality) reduced the likelihood to try Internet treatments.


Internet treatment reduced perceived treatment barriers across groups, with encouraging support for Internet treatment as an acceptable form of receiving help. Negative concerns about Internet treatment need to be addressed to encourage use.


Chinese Australian Acceptability Perceived barriers Internet treatment for depression 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabella Choi
    • 1
  • Louise Sharpe
    • 1
  • Stephen Li
    • 2
  • Caroline Hunt
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Psychology, Brennan MacCallum Building (A18)The University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Core Pathology and Clinical Chemistry, ICPMR Pathology WestNSW HealthSydneyAustralia

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