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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Increased access to and use of the Internet is significantly impacting health care, psychological practice, and clinical research, leading to the development of a new field called eHealth. This chapter highlights the ethical issues associated with providing psychological interventions over the Internet, in the context of both research trials and delivery of clinical services. It covers both the ethical benefits of eHealth (greater access to treatment, increased options for communication, enhanced convenience, potential cost savings, and improved data collection) and the challenges surrounding the delivery of eHealth (informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, appropriateness of online treatment, online assessment, identity verification, data validity, communication, competence, crisis intervention, and legal concerns). By more clearly defining eHealth interventions, the inherent ethical challenges can become more transparent and ethics codes can be more aptly developed. While ethics codes will be challenged to keep pace with evolving technologies, researchers should continue to investigate the ethical benefits and challenges of delivering eHealth interventions and then work to make these benefits and risks known through evolving codes of practice.

Keywords: eHealth, ethics, Internet intervention, online treatment, psychological intervention

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