Publication Date

2012-05-31

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-09-13

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2012-04-05

First Committee Member

Amanda Jensen-Doss

Second Committee Member

Jill Ehrenreich-May

Third Committee Member

Daniel Santisteban

Abstract

Researchers in the field of dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices have begun to develop computer-assisted therapies and computer-based training programs in an attempt to increase the level of evidence-based care in clinical practice settings. However, little to no work has attempted to understand potential barriers to the use of these technological tools in clinical practice settings (e.g., whether therapists are willing and able to use them). For these tools to be utilized successfully by therapists on a broad scale, therapists would need a certain level of computer skills, access to computer equipment, and willingness to adopt the technology in treatment. This study seeks to begin to understand these factors using survey data from a national sample of mental health counselors (N = 392). Respondents reported on their computer fluency and access to technology, in addition to completing two measures of therapist attitudes that were designed for this study: the Computer-Assisted Therapy Attitudes Scale (CATAS) and the Computer-Based Training Attitudes Scale (CBTAS). Confirmatory factor analyses supported a predicted two factor structure (belief in efficacy, comfort with using) for each scale. Encouragingly, overall therapist attitudes towards these tools were positive, their computer fluency levels were moderately high, and many (90.8%) reported having access to a computer at work. Analyses also examined predictors of attitudes. Predictors of positive attitudes included higher general openness to new treatments, higher computer fluency, and identifying with a cognitive-behavioral theoretical orientation. Results suggest that on the whole, therapists may be likely to integrate these tools into their clinical practice. However, therapists may vary both in their willingness and ability to use these tools.

Keywords

dissemination; implementation; technology; therapist training

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