Virtual social work practice: characteristics of web sites providing clinical intervention
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AbstractAlthough use of the Internet for purposes of delivering mental health services has exploded in recent years, there remains a tremendous gap in our knowledge about the nature of these online services. This thesis examines the characteristics of 53 current social work and psychologist online mental health sites located in Canada and the United States of America. The research was based on a content analysis of English speaking sites that offer clinical service to the general public. To be included in the study web sites had to offer a medium of clinical intervention, such as e-mail, chat or video conferencing, over the Internet. The results were evaluated against the backdrop of professional practice standards off-line and online with reference to the National Board of Certified Counselors and the International Society for Mental Health Online. In general, results indicated that online practitioners compliance with current online standards was poor.
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