Becoming an eCoach: Training therapists in online cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic pain

Patient Educ Couns. 2018 Sep;101(9):1702-1707. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2018.03.029. Epub 2018 Apr 7.


Objective: Online cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) is effective in supporting patients' self-management. Since iCBT differs from face-to-face CBT on several levels, proper training of therapists is essential. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a therapist training based on theoretical domains that are known to influence implementation behavior, for an iCBT for chronic pain.

Methods: The training consists of 1.5 days and covers the implementation domains "knowledge", "skills", "motivation", and "organization", by focusing on the therapy's rationale, iCBT skills, and implementation strategies. Using an evaluation questionnaire, implementation determinants (therapist characteristics, e-health attitude, and implementation domains) and iCBT acceptance were assessed among participants after training.

Results: Twenty-two therapists participated, who generally showed positive e-health attitudes, positive implementation expectations, and high iCBT acceptance. Organizational aspects (e.g., policy regarding iCBT implementation) were rated neutrally.

Conclusions: An iCBT therapist training was developed and initial evaluations among participants showed favorable implementation intentions.

Practice implications: Therapists' positive training evaluations are promising regarding the dissemination of iCBT in daily practice. Organizational support is vital and needs to be attended to when selecting organizations for iCBT implementation.

Keywords: E-health; Implementation; Online cognitive-behavioral therapy; Technology acceptance model; Therapist training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / education*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Telemedicine