Patient experience of supported computerized CBT in an inner-city IAPT service: A qualitative study

Ramesh P. Perera-Delcourt, Gemma Sharkey

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Computerized cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) has been developed to address economic and clinical issues around limited access to evidence-based therapy. Supported cCBT (variously termed iCBT or eCBT) has been developed to address issues with the effectiveness of, and engagement with, cCBT. There has been no in-depth qualitative exploration of the patient experience of eCBT within the UK, which might aid improving its effectiveness. The aim of this study was to explore patient experience of eCBT in one inner-city National Health Service (NHS) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service using a semi-structured interview and Thematic Analysis methodology. Ten patients took part. Six main themes were identified: (1) Being Offered eCBT; (2) How eCBT Compares with Self-help; (3) The Patient's State of Mind; (4) The Relationship with the Supporter; (5) Preferring to Talk; (6) eCBT's Value as a Treatment. Participants in this study indicated a preference for face-to-face talking therapy, but were clear that they could form a therapeutic relationship via asynchronous messaging. They reported clinical benefit from the eCBT programme and online relationship, and acknowledged that accessing this immediately was valuable. Issues around the process of selecting patients for eCBT, including with regard to acknowledging or mitigating any negative emotional effects of eCBT, and how to offer and support users with it, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalCognitive Behaviour Therapist
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2019


  • eCBT
  • guided cCBT
  • iCBT
  • internet-based CBT
  • patient experience
  • SilverCloud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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