Background: Although the use of e-mental health interventions and their evaluation is already well advanced in countries such as the United States and Australia, research in this area is still in the early stages in Germany. Moreover, existing programs are used only to a small extent by patients, although physicians and therapists generally have a positive attitude toward their use. To help promote the use of online interventions in the future, an analysis of the differences in opinions and attitudes toward e-mental health interventions between health care professionals and nonprofessionals is necessary. Objective: This study aimed to examine the differences in attitudes toward online interventions between health care professionals and nonprofessionals. Methods: This study examined 92 physicians, 36 psychotherapists, and 1,353 randomly recruited nonprofessionals with the eight-item questionnaire entitled "Attitudes on telemedicine in psychiatry and psychotherapy (ATiPP)." Results: The questionnaires of n = 62 physicians, n = 37 psychotherapists, and n = 1,353 nonprofessionals were included in the analysis. Overall, nonprofessionals rate the use of telemedicine more critically than professionals. The itemwise t tests show significant differences between health care professionals and nonprofessionals on six out of eight items. The analyses of variance with post hoc tests for each single item also found differences between the groups (physicians vs. therapists vs. telephone participants vs. practice sample). Conclusion: There are significant differences in attitudes toward online interventions between professionals and nonprofessionals.
Keywords: behavioral health; e-health; telehealth; telemedicine; telepsychiatry.