The Dissemination of Computer-Based Psychological Treatment: A Preliminary Analysis of Patient and Clinician Perceptions

  • Matthew M. CarperEmail author
  • R. Kathryn McHugh
  • David H. Barlow
Original Paper


Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy is an efficacious treatment for anxiety and depression with the potential to improve access to evidence-based care. However, its adoption in clinical practice in the US has been low and thus there is a need for identification of barriers to its use. We examined treatment-seeking patient (n = 55) and clinician (n = 26) perceptions of computer-based psychological treatment (CBPT) using Diffusion of Innovations theory as a conceptual framework. Diffusion of Innovations theory emphasizes potential adopter perceptions as being key to understanding adoption decisions, thus making it an ideal framework for evaluating barriers to use. Overall, treatment-seeking patients held slightly negative perceptions of CBPT, while clinicians’ perceptions were more neutral. In both groups, perceptions of observability (seeing or hearing about the treatment in use) were rated lowest. Implications for dissemination efforts and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Computers Technology Dissemination Diffusion of innovations Depression Anxiety 



This project was funded by a grant to Mr. Carper by Boston University’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Mr. Carper is now at the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Department of Psychology, Temple University. Dr. McHugh is now at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew M. Carper
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • R. Kathryn McHugh
    • 1
  • David H. Barlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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