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• There are no published studies on the acceptance of online counseling by end-users.
• We assessed mental health professionals' acceptance of online counseling using a theory-driven model.
• Our technology acceptance model predicted 72.9% in usage intentions.
• Perceived utility and relevance predicted intentions to use online counseling.
The development of online counseling services has followed the advent on information and communication technologies. The present study assessed mental health professionals' perspectives of online counseling by using an extended version of the technology acceptance model. Participants completed anonymous structured questionnaires assessing technology acceptance-related variables, including perceived usefulness and ease of use, usage intentions, job relevance, social norms, attitudes, computer anxiety, and past experience with online counseling. Linear regression and mediation analyses respectively showed that the model predicted 72.9% of usage intentions, and that perceived usefulness significantly predicted usage intentions and mediated the effect of perceived relevance. Interventions to promote online counseling should consider educating counselors and mental health professionals about the relevance and the expected benefits of online counseling to counseling practice.
Journal: Technology in Society - Volume 44, February 2016, Pages 10–14