You can't get anything perfect: "user perspectives on the delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy by telephone"

Soc Sci Med. 2010 Oct;71(7):1308-1315. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.06.031. Epub 2010 Jul 15.


Remote psychotherapy services such as telephone-administered cognitive behavioural therapy (T-CBT) have the potential to provide effective psychological treatment whilst simultaneously maximising efficiency, lowering costs and improving access to care. However, a lack of research examining the acceptability of non face-to-face psychotherapy means that little is known about users' perceptions of these delivery models. This paper reports data from two qualitative evaluations of T-CBT delivered in the voluntary and occupational health sectors in the UK. It explores users' acceptance of T-CBT, contrasting initial socially-construed expectations with more positive regard derived from experiential norms. User satisfaction with T-CBT was mixed. However, the relative ease with which most participants adapted to telephone-based care was suggestive of a shared construct of mental health service provision that prioritised the accessibility and availability of services over the social, professional and medico-legal perspectives that conventionally promote the co-location of practitioner and client.

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Telephone*
  • United Kingdom