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The acceptability of an Internet-based exposure treatment for flying phobia with and without therapist guidance: patients’ expectations, satisfaction, treatment preferences, and usability

Authors Campos D, Mira A, Bretón-López J, Castilla D, Botella C, Baños RM, Quero S

Received 2 October 2017

Accepted for publication 18 January 2018

Published 28 March 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 879—892

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S153041

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Daniel Campos,1 Adriana Mira,1,2 Juana Bretón-López,1,3 Diana Castilla,1,3 Cristina Botella,1,3 Rosa Maria Baños,3,4 Soledad Quero1,3

1Department of Basic Psychology, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain; 2Department of Psychology and Sociology, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Universidad de Zaragoza, Campus Universitario de Teruel, Teruel, Spain; 3CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Barcelona, Spain; 4Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment, Universitat de València, Valencia, Spain

Purpose: Internet-based treatments have been tested for several psychological disorders. However, few studies have directly assessed the acceptability of these self-applied interventions in terms of expectations, satisfaction, treatment preferences, and usability. Moreover, no studies provide this type of data on Internet-based treatment for flying phobia (FP), with or without therapist guidance. The aim of this study was to analyze the acceptability of an Internet-based treatment for FP (NO-FEAR Airlines) that includes exposure scenarios composed of images and real sounds. A secondary aim was to compare patients’ acceptance of two ways of delivering this treatment (with or without therapist guidance).
Patients and methods: The sample included 46 participants from a randomized controlled trial who had received the self-applied intervention with (n = 23) or without (n = 23) therapist guidance. All participants completed an assessment protocol conducted online and by telephone at both pre- and posttreatment.
Results: Results showed good expectations, satisfaction, opinion, and usability, regardless of the presence of therapist guidance, including low aversiveness levels from before to after the intervention. However, participants generally preferred the therapist-supported condition.
Conclusion: NO-FEAR Airlines is a well-accepted Internet-based treatment that can help enhance the application of the exposure technique, improving patient acceptance and access to FP treatment.

Keywords: Internet-based exposure, expectations, satisfaction, treatment preferences, usability, flying phobia

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