Barriers to Mental Health Care: Perceived Delivery System Differences

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Abstract

Treatment barriers have prompted the development of new models of care. Distance delivery systems bridge the access gap, increasing service availability. Understanding differences between systems can inform system improvements. Sixty participants from the Strongest Families telephone intervention for child behavior difficulties participated. Participants completed a questionnaire to explore differences in perceived treatment barriers (Treatment Barriers Index—TBI) and therapeutic processes (eg, therapeutic alliance, self-disclosure, health outcome) between face-to-face versus distance treatment. The TBI scale has strong internal reliability (Cronbach α: 0.95 [face-to-face]; 0.90 [distance]). Statistically significant differences were found between delivery system TBI mean scores, indicating fewer barriers with distance treatment. Therapeutic process differences between delivery modes suggest enhanced therapeutic alliance and self-disclosure scores with distance treatment. Increased access, convenience, and sense of privacy (visual anonymity) offered by a distance delivery system may provide an enhanced experience for some individuals.

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