Telephone-Supported Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for People With Depression: Users’ Perspective

Daniel KW YOUNG*, Per CARLBRING, Petrus YN NG, Joseph Qi Rong Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)



Little is known from the perspective of service users on the quality and benefits of receiving telephone counseling in a guided Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT). 


This study aimed to investigate, from the user’s perspective, the feasibility, quality, and benefits of a telephone-supported iCBT which provided eight self-learned online modules and weekly telephone counseling from a social worker for people with depression. 

Research design

This study adopted interpretive qualitative research, involving semi-structural in-depth individual interviews with participants. 

Study sample

Purposive sampling method was adopted, involving ten adults receiving a diagnosis of depression and completing the telephone-supported iCBT. 

Data collection and/or analysis

Qualitative content analysis was adopted, involving coding data and identifying themes. 


The telephone-supported iCBT was appreciated by service users by offering convenience, efficiency, anonymity, privacy, synchronous and asynchronous support. Additionally, the counselor demonstrated competence in counseling via telephone, and provided various support, including: delivering CBT, handling personal issues outside the scope of iCBT, encouragement, guiding & monitoring learning progress, and solving technical difficulties. Perceived outcomes included improved abilities in cognitive restructuring, emotion regulation, and self-awareness. 


The guided iCBT with telephone-supported is a feasible, effective, and preferable intervention for people with depression in Chinese societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-595
Number of pages13
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese societies
  • depression
  • online cognitive behavioral therapy
  • qualitative study
  • telephone counseling


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