Computer-assisted therapies: Examination of therapist-level barriers to their use

Emily M. Becker, Amanda Jensen-Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Despite enthusiasm in the field for their potential ease of dissemination, little work has examined whether practicing clinicians are willing and able to use computer-assisted therapies (i.e., computerized treatments designed to be administered with therapist support). For therapists to use these tools, they require access to computer equipment, the skills needed to use the equipment, and willingness to adopt the technology in treatment. This study examined these three factors using survey data from a national sample of mental health clinicians ( N= 1,067). Respondents reported on their access to technology and computer fluency, in addition to completing the Computer-Assisted Therapy Attitudes Scale (CATAS), a measure of therapist attitudes designed for this study. Overall, the majority of therapists (90.7%) reported access to at least one computer at work and self-reported computer fluency levels were high. On average, therapists held positive attitudes towards computer-assisted therapies, although expressed concern that these technologies might damage rapport and did not feel that these technologies would improve treatment outcomes. Predictors of positive attitudes included greater general openness toward new treatments, greater comfort with computers, and easier access to technology at work (all ps. <. .01). Results suggested that, on the whole, therapists may be likely to integrate computer-assisted therapies into their clinical practice. However, therapists vary both in their ability and willingness to use these tools. Implications for the dissemination of computer-assisted therapies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-624
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Computer-assisted therapy
  • Dissemination
  • Evidence-based practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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