Acceptance and barriers to access of occupational e-mental health: cross-sectional findings from a health-risk population of employees
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Occupational e-mental-health (OEMH) may extend existing instruments for preservation or restoration of health and work ability. As a key precondition to efficient implementation, this study examined acceptance and person-centered barriers to potential uptake of OEMH for work-related distress in employees with an elevated risk of early retirement.
Within the framework of the “Third German Sociomedical Panel of Employees”, 1829 employees with prior sickness absence payments filled out a self-administered questionnaire. Participants had a mean age of 49.93 years (SD = 4.06). 6.2% indicated prior use of eHealth interventions. Potential predictors of acceptance of OEMH were examined based on the “Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology” (UTAUT) extended by work ability, mental health, eHealth literacy and demographic characteristics.
89.1% (n = 1579) showed low to moderate acceptance (M = 2.20, SD = 1.05, range 1–5). A path analysis revealed significant, positive direct effects of UTAUT predictors on acceptance (performance expectancy: 0.48, SE = 0.02, p < 0.001; effort expectancy: 0.20, SE = 0.02, p < 0.001; social influence: 0.28, SE = 0.02, p < 0.001).Online time and frequency of online health information search were further positive direct predictors of acceptance. Model fit was good [χ 2(7) = 12.91, p = 0.07, RMSEA = 0.02, CFI = 1.00, TLI = 0.99, SRMR = 0.01].
Attitudes towards OEMH are rather disadvantageous in the studied risk group. Implementation of OEMH, therefore, requires a-priori education including promotion of awareness, favorable attitudes regarding efficacy and usability in a collaborative approach.
KeywordsOccupational e-mental health Acceptance Mental health Work ability Cohort study
- ACC OEMH
Acceptance of occupational e-mental-health
Analysis of variance
eHealth literacy scale
Comparative fit index
German pension insurance fund
German sociomedical panel of employees
Health Action Process Model
Maximum likelihood estimation with robust standard errors
Root mean square error of approximation
Short form (36) health survey
Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology
Work ability index
The GSPE-III has been funded by the German Pension Insurance Fund according to § 31 section 1 Nr. 5 SGB VI. The authors would like to thank Julian Thukral for his project assistance.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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