Exploring Perceptions of a Computerized Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program in a U.S. Rural Western State


Mark B. Schure, Meredith Howard, Sandra J. Bailey, Bill Bryan, John Greist


Rural Mental Health


Computerized mental health interventions have the potential to address existing mental health care disparities in rural communities. The aim of this study was to conduct an exploratory examination on the acceptability of an interactive computerized cognitive behavior therapy program to reduce depressive symptoms for adults in a rural Western state. Partnering with the land-grant university Extension system and a state non-profit organization, we identified and interviewed 18 key informants and conducted 19 focus groups in 15 rural communities to ascertain attitudes and perspectives about the program. Key informants were provided access to the Thrive program prior to the interviews. Focus group participants were provided a brief demonstration of the program and asked to provide feedback. Content analyses of interview and focus group transcripts yielded four general themes of program acceptability: privacy, accessibility, user-friendliness, and cultural inappropriateness. Overall, participants indicated that the Thrive program would be useful for many in their communities. They also reported that the program could be improved by making videos that better represent rural community members' lifestyles and experiences. The study team members acted on these findings to improve the Thrive program for rural Western populations.



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