Does it blend? Exploring therapist fidelity in blended CBT for anxiety disorders

Geke Romijn*, Simon Provoost, Neeltje Batelaan, Jeroen Koning, Anton van Balkom, Heleen Riper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Blended cognitive-behavioural therapy (bCBT) combines face-to-face CBT (FtFCBT) and Internet-based CBT (iCBT) into one integrated treatment protocol, opening up new ways to deliver therapy, increase cost-effectiveness and resolve scarcity of therapist availability. When traditional therapy is transformed into a new format, there is a need to evaluate whether principles of the new protocol are consistently applied. This study aimed to explore therapist fidelity to bCBT protocols for anxiety disorders in specialised mental health care and to assess whether fidelity is related to patient characteristics. Adult patients (N = 44) received bCBT within a randomised controlled trial. Ratio of FtF to online sessions, session frequency and therapist adherence to instructions were assessed. Overall therapist fidelity with regard to ratio of blending, session frequency and instructions was high. Correlations were found between patients' share of online sessions and both session frequency (r = 0.373, p = .013), as well as patient computer experience (r = 0.314, p = .038). Adherence to instructions in FtF sessions was based on a subset of patients (n = 23) and should therefore be interpreted with caution. The blended approach was generally delivered as intended, indicating that the format is feasible in specialised mental health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100418
JournalInternet Interventions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

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