Do Quality Websites Matter? Factors Affecting Online Treatment Acceptability
Hancock, Sara L.
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This study examined website quality factors, perceived initial trust (PIT) and online treatment acceptability (OTA) of telepsychology sites. A between-subjects factorial multiple analysis of covariance also examined two covariates (attitudes toward the Internet [IA] and psychotherapy [PA]). Volunteers reviewed fictitious websites depicting one of four combinations of levels of the independent variables, content and design quality (high versus low). It was hypothesized that (a) participants would rate the websites differently; (b) the independent variables would interact; and (c) covariates would significantly affect PIT and OTA. Differences in PIT and OTA were observed between the website conditions. However, content and design were not found to interact with each other in affecting PIT or OTA. IA also predicted PIT and OTA, but PA did not. Overall, the present findings suggest that content quality does impact consumer decision making regarding telepsychology services and could have important implications for how providers design their websites.