Corina Benjet, Andrea Wittenborn, Raúl A. Gutierrez-García, Yesica Cristina Albor, Eunice Vargas Contreras, Sergio Cruz Hernández, Karla Patricia Valdés-García, Iris Ruby Monroy, Alvaro Julio Peláez Cedrés, Praxedis Cristina Hernández Uribe, Anabell Covarrubias Díaz-Couder, Guillermo E. Quevedo Chávez, María Abigal Paz-Peréz, María Elena Medina-Mora and Ronny Bruffaerts.
Revista: Journal of Adolescent Health
Volumen: En prensa
Número: En prensa
Purpose: Although Internet-based electronic health (eHealth) interventions could potentially reduce mental health disparities, especially in college students in under-resourced countries, little is known about the relative acceptability of eHealth versus in-person treatment modalities and the treatment barriers associated with a preference for one type over the other. Methods: Participants were from the 2018e2019 cohort of the University Project for Healthy Students (PUERTAS), aWeb-based survey of incoming first-year students in Mexico and part of the World Mental Health International College Student Survey initiative. A total of 7,849 first-year students, 54.73% female, from five Mexican universities participated. We estimated correlates of preference for eHealth delivery over in-person modalities with a multivariate logistic regression. Results: Thirty-eight percent of students prefer in-person services, 36% showed no preference for in-person over eHealth, 19% prefer not to use services of any kind, and 7% preferred eHealth over in-person treatment delivery. Being embarrassed, worried about harm to one’s academic career, wanting to handle problems on one’s own, beliefs about treatment efficacy, having depression, and having attention-deficient hyperactivity disorder were associated with a clear preference for eHealth delivery methods with odds ratios ranging from 1.47 to 2.59. Conclusions: Although more students preferred in-person services over eHealth, those reporting attitudinal barriers (i.e., embarrassment, stigma, wanting to handle problems on one’s own, and beliefs about treatment efficacy) and with depression or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder had a greater preference for eHealth interventions suggesting these are students to whom eHealth interventions could be targeted to alleviate symptoms and/or as a bridge to future in-person treatment.
Key words: eHealth; Treatment barriers; Treatment modality; Mental health; Mexico; College students