Background Many patients with coronary artery heart disease are unable to access traditional psychosocial rehabilitation conducted face to face due to excessive travel distance. Therefore, this study developed and assessed the feasibility and acceptability of an 8-week Internet-based cognitive-behavior group therapy program, described the patterns of use and measured change in risk factors. Methods This study adopted an online video conference system, JointNet, to maintain group interaction functions similar to face to face groups online, and also built an self-learning platform to deliver psychoeducation content and cognitive-behavior therapy related materials and homework. Forty-three out-patients were recruited in the pilot study, who then chose to participate in either the Internet-based cognitive-behavior group therapy or face to face group based on their preference. Fourteen patients were assigned to the waiting-list control. Results Seventeen participants (17/43 = 39.5%) chose the Internet-based cognitive-behavior group therapy program. Among them, thirteen participants (13/17 = 76.5%) finished the program and were more male (92.3% vs. 50%), employed (53.8% vs. 35.3%), and had longer education duration (13.9 vs. 12.5 years) than the counterparts of the face to face group. Furthermore, they were highly motivated with average number of log-ins (66.5 time), website surfing time (950.94 min), reading frequency (78.15 time) and reading time (355.90 min) for the self-learning platform during eight weeks; and also highly satisfied (97%) with visiting the self-learning platform and video conferences. The treatment effectiveness of Internet-based cognitive-behavior group therapy was comparable with face to face one in reducing anxiety, hostility, respiration rate, and in improving vasodilation but not depression compared with the waiting-list control. Conclusion These results indicated that the Internet-based group therapy program using video conference is feasible and acceptable for the psychosocial rehabilitation of patients with coronary artery heart disease, and provides an alternative for patients who are unable to obtain conventional psychosocial rehabilitation conducted face to face.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)