Truth or Fiction for Service Delivery?

Is face to face counselling better than non-face to face counselling?

There's plenty of evidence and research that non-face to face counselling is effective and meets the varying needs and expectations of clients.

Modern Technologies

In this contemporary age, so many diverse and complex human services like intensive counselling and medical procedures are being increasingly performed remotely with the aid of modern and effective technologies. One need look no further than the rapid acceleration in the availability of consumer financial services through online, non-face to face modalities for banking, lending, mortgages, saving, investments, etc.

The following studies and research attest to the effectiveness of non-face to face credit counselling vs face to face counselling:

  • "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Credit Counselling, Impact of Delivery Channels for Credit Counselling Services, May 31, 2006". This paper concluded that delivery channel has no statistically significant influence on the client's delinquency risk score, measured four years after counselling. Therefore, technology-assisted counselling by telephone or internet can be just as effective as face to face counselling in improving client credit profiles.
  • "Is Technology-Enhanced Credit Counselling As Effective As In-Person Delivery? February 2011". This study concluded that technology-assisted delivery was found to generate outcomes no worse - and at some margins better - than face to face delivery of counselling services.
  • "The Effectiveness of Video Counselling for EFAP Support, Video Counselling Compares Well to In-Person Counselling 2013". This study concluded that individuals who used video counselling reported high levels of satisfaction and had similar satisfaction and clinical outcomes to individuals accessing in-person counselling.  Surveys indicated that users of video counselling found the service convenient and clinically beneficial. Furthermore, a systematic literature review indicates that, on the whole, there are similar and comparable clinical outcomes and satisfaction levels between clients and/or patients who received video counselling and those who received in-person counselling.

The truth of the matter is that the client should be the primary driver and consideration as to how our services are delivered. Meeting client needs means providing services in a way that suits them the best - whether this be face to face, over the telephone, via video or test or some other means. That's how I see it. How about you?




Text: 905-945-5644
Formally the Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services (OACCS)

Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services

11-1155 North Service Rd W
Oakville, ON L6M 3E3

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