Nijmegen Institute for Scientist-Practitioners in Addiction

Characteristics of problem drinkers in e-therapy versus face-to-face treatment.

TitelCharacteristics of problem drinkers in e-therapy versus face-to-face treatment.
PublicatietypeJournal Article
Jaar van publicatie2011
AuteursPostel MG, de Haan HA, Ter Huurne ED, Becker ES, DeJong CA
UitgaveAm J Drug Alcohol Abuse
Publicatiedatum2011 Nov
TrefwoordenAdult, Age Factors, Alcoholism, Educational Status, Female, Health Services Accessibility, Humans, Internet, Male, Middle Aged, Netherlands, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Sex Factors, Time Factors

BACKGROUND: The availability of online treatment programs offers the potential to reach more problem drinkers. This study compared the client populations of an e-therapy program (asynchronous client-therapist communication via the Internet) and a face-to-face treatment program. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether e-therapy and face-to-face groups differed from each other and changed over time. METHODS: We compared the baseline characteristics of four naturalistic groups (N = 4593): two e-therapy groups (2005-2006 and 2008-2009) and two consecutive series of ambulant face-to-face clients admitted for treatment as usual. The characteristics we were interested in were gender, age, education level, working situation, and earlier treatment for drinking problems. RESULTS: The results showed that the baseline characteristics of e-therapy and face-to-face clients differed by gender, education level, work situation, prior alcohol treatment, and age. We also found that both e-therapy groups differed over time by gender, work situation, and prior alcohol treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The e-therapy program successfully attracted clients who were different from those who were represented in regular face-to-face alcohol treatment services. This indicates that e-therapy decreases the barriers to treatment facilities and enhances the accessibility. However, the e-therapy population changed over time. Although the e-therapy program still reached an important new group of clients in 2008-2009, this group showed more overlap with the traditional face-to-face group of clients probably as a result of improved acceptance of e-therapy in the general population. SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: Although e-therapy seems to be better accepted in the general population, anonymous treatment seems necessary to reach a broader range of problem drinkers.

Alternatieve uitgaveAm J Drug Alcohol Abuse
PubMed ID21797813