Providing support for autonomy in online health communication

Published on February 09 2018 – Web-based health behavior change interventions may be more effective if they offer autonomy-supportive communication. However, currently no validated tools exist to assess user-perceived autonomy-support of such interventions. For this reason, ACHC-researcher Eline Smit and colleagues developed and validated a new measurement instrument. The Virtual Care Climate Questionnaire (VCCQ) consist of items that were developed based on existing questionnaires and expert consultation, which were pretested among experts and target populations. The VCCQ was validated in the context of web-based interventions aimed at reducing consumption of alcohol (Study 1; N=230) and cannabis (Study 2; N=228). Based on Item Response Theory analyses, 15 items remained in the questionnaire. Overall, the scale showed the expected properties and relationships with relevant concepts, and the authors conclude that this first version of the VCCQ is reasonably valid and reliable. The current version may (cautiously) be used in future research and practice to measure perceived support for autonomy in online health communication – it is available upon request in both English and Dutch from the authors.

The full paper can be found here.