eHealth programs have been found to be effective in treating many psychological conditions. Regarding Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), few programs have been tested; nevertheless, results are promising. The therapeutic alliance is an important factor predicting treatment outcome in BPD. However, we do not know yet to what extent BPD patients form a therapeutic alliance with an eHealth tool and how this relationship differs from the relationship with their human therapist. This study aims to address this question using priovi, an interactive schema therapy-based eHealth tool for BPD. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore how patients perceived the therapeutic alliance with priovi and its differences compared to the alliance with their human therapist (N = 9). Interview data were analyzed following the procedures of qualitative content analysis. Additionally, the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI-SR) was administered in two versions (regarding the human therapist and priovi, N = 16) every three months during the treatment phase of one year. Results indicate that patients were able to form a good therapeutic relationship with priovi, but it differed from the relationship to their human therapist. Important categories were “priovi is helpful, supportive and always there” and “priovi is less flexible”. WAI ratings for the task subscale were high in both relationships but significantly higher in WAItherapist compared to WAIpriovi in two measurements (nine-months measurement: t = 2.76, df = 15, p = 0.015; twelve-months measurement: t = 3.44, df = 15, p = 0.004). These results indicate that BPD patients can form a functioning alliance with an eHealth program and that eHealth programs may be especially useful for psychoeducation and cognitive exercises.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 09.2020|
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)