Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 869–873 | Cite as

What patients think about E-health: patients’ perspective on internet-based cognitive behavioral treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis

  • Maaike FerwerdaEmail author
  • Sylvia van Beugen
  • Amanda van Burik
  • Henriët van Middendorp
  • Elke M. G. J. de Jong
  • Peter C. M. van de Kerkhof
  • Piet L. C. M. van Riel
  • Andrea W. M. Evers
Brief Report


In the past decade, the use of internet-based cognitive behavioral treatments (internet-based CBT) for a wide range of patients has grown intensively. Incorporating the patients’ opinions and perspective into new health care innovations might improve the quality and applicability of these innovations, as high dropout rates and low attrition are the often-reported concerns in E-health research. Most studies to date have examined patient perspectives on specific internet-based interventions that patients had participated in, and not the views of the general public. The current paper explores the perspective of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis on internet-based CBT for these patient groups. In total, 100 patients (55 % male) participated in a semi-structured telephone interview about internet-based CBT, including questions about possible advantages and disadvantages and the readiness to participate in this kind of treatment. Most patients (78 %) were prepared to participate in internet-based CBT. Patients endorsed the advantages (57 %) more often than the disadvantages (34 %). The ease of internet-based CBT and the time saved were especially appealing to patients. Main disadvantages according to patients are that not all patients will be reached due to computer illiteracy and the lack of face-to-face interaction with the therapist. The results suggest that, from the patients’ perspective, internet-based CBT is a promising health care development. Further research into aspects such as therapist interaction and enhancing computer literacy might contribute to an effective way of E-health care delivery in the future.


E-health (Internet-based) cognitive behavioral therapy Patient compliance Patient perspective Patient preference 



This research was supported by grants from the Dutch Science Organization ZonMw and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Ethics committee

The regional ethics committee of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre indicated that there was no approval needed for the protocol of this study.




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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maaike Ferwerda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sylvia van Beugen
    • 1
  • Amanda van Burik
    • 1
  • Henriët van Middendorp
    • 1
  • Elke M. G. J. de Jong
    • 2
  • Peter C. M. van de Kerkhof
    • 2
  • Piet L. C. M. van Riel
    • 3
  • Andrea W. M. Evers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Psychology (840)Radboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of RheumatologyRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands

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