Incorporating digital self-services into integrated mental health care: a physician’s perspective

Heini Sisko Maarit Taiminen (School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)
Saila Saraniemi (Department of Marketing, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Joy Parkinson (Social Marketing @ Griffith, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 12 November 2018



This paper aims to enhance the current understanding of digital self-services (computerized cognitive behavioral therapy [cCBT]) and how they could be better incorporated into integrated mental health care from the physician’s perspective. Service marketing and information systems literature are combined in the context of mental health-care delivery.


An online survey of 412 Finnish physicians was undertaken to understand physicians’ acceptance of cCBT. The study applies thematic analysis and structural equation modeling to answer its research questions.


Adopting a service marketing perspective helps understand how digital self-services can be incorporated in health-care delivery. The findings suggest that value creation within this context should be seen as an intertwined process where value co-creation and self-creation should occur seamlessly at different stages. Furthermore, the usefulness of having a value self-creation supervisor was identified. These value creation logic changes should be understood and enabled to incorporate digital self-services into integrated mental health-care delivery.

Research limitations/implications

Because health-care systems vary across countries, strengthening understanding through exploring different contexts is crucial.

Practical implications

Assistance should be provided to physicians to enable better understanding of the application and suitability of digital self-service as a treatment option (such as cCBT) within their profession. Additionally, supportive facilitating conditions should be created to incorporate them as part of integrated care chain.

Social implications

Digital self-services have the potential to serve goals beyond routine activities in a health-care setting.


This study demonstrates the relevance of service theories within the health-care context and improves understanding of value creation in digital self-services. It also offers a profound depiction of the barriers to acceptance.



Heini Sisko Maarit Taiminen, Saila Saraniemi and Joy Parkinson (2018) "Incorporating digital self-services into integrated mental health care: a physician’s perspective", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 52 No. 11, pp. 2234-2250

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