Silvia Caterina Maria Tomaino

Ritratto Silvia Caterina Maria Tomaino

Neuroscience, Technology, and Society, XXXVI series
Grant sponsor

Università di Padova

Sabrina Cipolletta
Alessandro Sperduti

Project description
Web-based psychological interventions have already opened new horizons in care strategies and tailored interventions for research and clinical practice implementation, influencing health care practices (assessment, treatment, remote patient’s support, and app mobile interventions). Telepsychology and e-mental health interventions are showing scientific evidence of efficacy and their use is spreading in everyday clinical practice. However recent studies showed that awareness of psychological online interventions and consultations is rather poor in the general population; in fact, web-based counseling and therapies are considered less effective and less preferred than the face-to-face conventional ones by potential users. Different digital tools may be used to deliver online psychological consultations, even though video-conference remains the preferred one because is experienced as similar to face-to-face consultation. On an international level, many types of software are used by psychologists to deliver online video-consultation and psychologists report facing difficulties in choosing the most appropriate one from a clinical, technical, and methodological point of view. In the Italian context, telepsychology practices are in evolution, much work is still needed to grow it into an active part of everyday clinical practice for the National Healthcare System. Strong skepticism for online practice persists in both psychologists and clients, in terms of efficacy, unclear policies, and inadequacy of digital tools and technological education for professionals. The COVID-19 pandemic “forced” the use of online psychological consultation and web-based interventions, enabling psychologists and clients to experience the resources and the limitations of online tools and consultations from both perspectives. This scenario gave Italy and worldwide experts the opportunity of dialogues and renovations that might lead to a great thrust forward in telepsychology. My project aims to explore and understand Italian user’s experience with psychological online consultation for both psychologists and clients; with the purpose of developing and promoting practical tools such as a dedicated app, educational digital support for clinicians, and strategies to build an appropriate therapeutic relationship online.