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Features of email support that are linked to adherence in the web-based intervention "Hold on, for each other"

Fuisting, Anna (0217) Features of email support that are linked to adherence in the web-based intervention "Hold on, for each other".

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Abstract:Adherence is still a major challenge in designing web-based interventions. There is a lot of evidence that email support has an influence on the adherence of participants to web-based interventions. But the evidence is smaller when it comes to the question what exactly effective support should entail, because in most studies, the human support is not manualized. Therefore, this study analysed which characteristics of the personalized email support of a web-based intervention may have influence on the adherence to the intervention. In addition, it was also analysed if there was a correlation between the number of words and emails and the adherence. The question was answered by a content analysis of 38 email conversations of participants and counsellors of the web-based intervention ‘Hold on, for each other’. ‘Hold on, for each other’ aims at providing information and support for partners of cancer patients. For the content analysis, an adjusted version of a coding scheme was used, structured in three levels of communication (content, procedure and relationship). With the help of logistic regression analyses, evidence was found that characteristics of email support have an influence on the adherence to the web-based intervention ‘Hold on, for each other’. The more emails the counsellors wrote, and the more words per email the counsellors used, the higher was the probability of adherence. Adherent participants, in addition, wrote significantly more mails to the counsellors than non-adherent participants, what could show a greater commitment. Regarding the content, only 12 of 33 different kinds of expressions by the counsellors and only 2 of 27 kinds of expressions by the participants were positively associated with adherence (respectively one of them with non-adherence). Most of the associated codes belonged to the communication-level relationship. This underlines the importance of creating a good therapeutic relationship. Furthermore, it turned out that a clear communication about personal deadlines had a positive influence on the likelihood of adherence of the participants. Surprisingly, no evidence was found that technical problems had any influence on the likelihood of adherence, leastwise not the communication over technical problems. These findings make a useful contribution to overcome the challenge of a low level of adherence. With the results of this study and results of further research, it would be possible to conduct a manual for online counsellors of web-based interventions that would heighten the probability of adherence of the participants.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/73515
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