A paediatric therapeutic alliance occurs with distance intervention

J Telemed Telecare. 2008;14(5):236-40. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2008.080101.


We investigated whether a distance therapeutic alliance occurs when children receive manualized, cognitive-behavioural treatment via telephone, in the absence of face-to-face contact. The therapeutic alliance scores were measured in 55 child-parent pairs. The mean total Working Alliance Inventory child scores were 236 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 232, 240) and the mean parent scores were 245 (95% CI: 242, 247). Parent scores were significantly higher than child scores, although the difference may not be clinically meaningful. This study provides evidence that a strong therapeutic alliance does occur between child-coach and parent-coach pairs when treatment is delivered from a distance by non-professionals. The term 'child' encompasses both children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Community Mental Health Services / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nova Scotia
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Young Adult