Preferences of psychotherapists for blended care in Germany: a discrete choice experiment

Abstract

Objectives Digital treatment formats are emerging within mental health care. Evidence suggests that mental health care providers and recipients prefer a combination of digital and traditional elements within psychotherapy treatment formats, also called blended care (BC), over standalone digital formats. We examined the attitudes and preferences of licensed psychotherapists in Germany regarding such BC applications. Methods. We fielded a survey among psychotherapists, including questions about attitudes, previous experiences, and expectations regarding BC, as well as a discrete choice experiment. Attributes for the experiment were devel- oped using a stepwise qualitative approach. A Bayesian D-efficient design was used to generate the choice tasks. The choice data were analyzed by applying mixed logit models. Results. The survey was completed by 200 psychotherapists. Attitudes towards BC were mainly positive, with strong reported intentions to use BC formats. In the choice experiment, recommendation from a professional society for a BC online component was the most important characteristic. Greater effectiveness and a larger share of face-to-face vs. online time were also desired features, while a financial incentive to use BC was less relevant.

Publication
In Value in health

Data and code are publicly available through the open science framework: https://osf.io/hy3ts/

Sebastian Himmler
Sebastian Himmler
Health Economics PhD candidate

My research interests include health and well-being, applied health economics and econometrics and health preference research.