Preferences for e-Mental Health Interventions in Germany: A DiscreteChoice Experiment

EA Phillips, Sebastian Himmler, J Schreyögg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

27 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Recent evidence suggests that e-mental health interventions can be effective at improving mental health but that there is still a notable hesitation among patients to use them. Previous research has revealed that they are perceived by patients as being less helpful than face-to-face psychotherapy. The reasons for this unfavorable perception are, however, not yet well understood. The aim of our study was to address this question by eliciting preferences for individual components of e-mental health interventions in a discrete choice experiment. Methods: Using a stepwise qualitative approach, we developed the following 5 attributes of eMHIs: introductory training, human contact, peer support, proven effectiveness, content delivery, and price. Additionally, we asked questions about respondents’ demographics, attitudes, and previous experience of traditional psychotherapy, as well as their distress level. Results: A total of 1984 respondents completed the survey. Using mixed logit models, we found that personal contact with a psychotherapist in blended care, proven effectiveness, and low price were highly valued by participants. Participants were indifferent toward the mode of content delivery but showed a slight preference for introductory training via phone, as well as for peer support via online forum alongside coach-led group meetings on site. Discussion: Our results suggest a clear preference for blended care that includes face-to-face contact with a psychotherapist. This preference remained stable irrespective of sociodemographics, previous experience of psychotherapy, distress level, and the 2 context scenarios used in our discrete choice experiment. Further investigations looking at the potential benefits and risks of blended care are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalValue in Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding/Support: This research was financed by institutional funds. S.F.W. Himmler received funding from a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship financed by the European Commission (Grant agreement No. 721402 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 ISPOR–The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-05-63-01 Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Preferences for e-Mental Health Interventions in Germany: A DiscreteChoice Experiment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this