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Article

Provision of Psychotherapy One Year after the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Austria

1
Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health, Danube University Krems, 3500 Krems, Austria
2
Austrian Federal Association for Psychotherapy, 1030 Vienna, Austria
3
ABILE-Viktor Frankl Education Austria, 3390 Melk, Austria
4
PROGES, 4020 Linz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas Volken and Annina Zysset
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5843; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115843
Received: 13 May 2021 / Revised: 26 May 2021 / Accepted: 27 May 2021 / Published: 29 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Pandemics: Impact on Health Care and Health Care Professions)
A previous study revealed that the majority of Austrian psychotherapists switched to remote settings during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study investigated whether this change in treatment format was maintained after one year of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 16 February until 2 April 2021, a total of 238 Austrian psychotherapists completed an online survey. They were asked about the number of patients currently treated in-person, via telephone and via the internet. Psychotherapists rated three different aspects of psychotherapy (ability to actively listen to patients, ability to understand what is going on in the patients and ability to support patients emotionally) for three different formats (in-person with facemasks, telephone and internet) separately. The results show that, after one year of the pandemic, the majority (78.4%) of patients were treated in-person (compared to 21.7% during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic; p < 0.001). This change in the treatment format was accompanied by a strong increase in the total number of patients treated by 77.2% on average (p < 0.001). Psychotherapists reported no differences between in-person psychotherapy with facemasks and psychotherapy via the internet with regard to the three investigated aspects of psychotherapy, while the surveyed aspects were rated less favorably for psychotherapy conducted via telephonic communication (p < 0.05). Further studies are needed to investigate the reasons why most psychotherapists switched back to the in-person format with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychotherapy; telephone; internet; attitudes; COVID-19 psychotherapy; telephone; internet; attitudes; COVID-19
MDPI and ACS Style

Humer, E.; Haid, B.; Schimböck, W.; Reisinger, A.; Gasser, M.; Eichberger-Heckmann, H.; Stippl, P.; Pieh, C.; Probst, T. Provision of Psychotherapy One Year after the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Austria. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5843. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115843

AMA Style

Humer E, Haid B, Schimböck W, Reisinger A, Gasser M, Eichberger-Heckmann H, Stippl P, Pieh C, Probst T. Provision of Psychotherapy One Year after the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Austria. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(11):5843. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115843

Chicago/Turabian Style

Humer, Elke, Barbara Haid, Wolfgang Schimböck, Andrea Reisinger, Marion Gasser, Heidrun Eichberger-Heckmann, Peter Stippl, Christoph Pieh, and Thomas Probst. 2021. "Provision of Psychotherapy One Year after the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Austria" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 11: 5843. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115843

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