Therapeutic Alliance Building During the Child Psychiatric Intake: Does VTC Make a Difference?

Penska, Keith; Michael, Robin; Messer, Stephen C.; Smith, Ryan; Black, Nancy B.; Cozza, Stephen
May 2012
Military Medicine;May2012, Vol. 177 Issue 5, p541
Academic Journal
This study examined potential changes in perceptions of therapeutic ("working") alliance during a child's initial diagnostic interview from the parent's perspective. The major study objective was to determine whether parental perceptions of alliance vary by group (video teleconferencing [VTC], face-to-face [FTF]) over time (Pre, Post intake). It was predicted that parental alliance would be more favorable after an FTF encounter relative to a VTC intervention. Participants were recruited and enrolled in two study cohorts between August 2000 and October 2005. Parents completed the Parental Perceptions of Alliance Questionnaire (PPAQ) immediately before (pre-PPAQ) and after (post- PPAQ) their interview. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests showed that the mean PPAQ scores of FTF groups being higher than that of VTC groups (controlling for time) was statistically significant, F(1,144) = 4.14, p = 0.04. However, upon further analysis, the interaction effect was not significant, F(1,144) = 1.20, p = 0.28. Findings from the current exploratory study suggest that, at least following an intake child psychiatric examination, parents' perceptions of therapeutic alliance are stronger than they were before intake for those conducted in an FFF format as well as through VTC.


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