Home / Special Issue / JSSH Vol. 29 (S1) 2021 / JSSH(S)-1494-2021


A Comparison of a Client’s Satisfaction between Online and Face-to-face Counselling in a School Setting

Zaida Nor Zainudin, Siti Aishah Hassan, Nor Aniza Ahmad, Yusni Mohamad Yusop, Wan Norhayati Wan Othman1 and Bity Salwana Alias2

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue S1, December 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.s1.08

Keywords: Counselling, client satisfaction, e-counselling, secondary school, students

Published on: 14 April 2021

During the current Covid-19 pandemic, the social relationship between humans has changed. As noticed, lockdowns and social distancing have become new norms. Unavoidably, counselling services were also affected with social distancing rules, especially in the school setting. Thus, online counselling or e-counselling has begun to gain in popularity, allowing counsellors to offer their services in an alternative way. In order to evaluate the suitability of e-counselling during the current pandemic, a client’s satisfaction towards e-counselling and face-to-face counselling needs to be investigated. This study aims to explore the effectiveness of these two counselling approaches using the level of the client’s satisfaction and its implication towards counselling practises during the outbreak. Quantitative data were obtained using the Client’s Satisfaction Inventory Short-Form (CSI-SF) questionnaire. The experimental design consisted of a total of 60 study subjects in two groups, namely the control group using the face-to-face Counselling method and the experimental group using the e-Counselling method. Based on the results, the difference in mean score showed that the mean difference in the experimental group was slightly higher than the control group. This finding indicates that e-counselling clients have a higher satisfaction compared to the face-to-face approach. The implications of this data are discussed on the role of school, school counsellor, and the government in enhancing the service of e-counselling during the current pandemic.

  • Abu Bakar, A. Y. (2015). Pola isu, persepsi, serta pengalaman perkhidmatan bimbingan dan kaunseling dalam kalangan pelajar pintar dan berbakat [Pattern of issues, perceptions, and experiences toward guidance and counseling services among gifted and talented students]. Jurnal Pendidikan Malaysia, 40(2), 167-173. doi: 10.17576/JPEN-2015-4002-09

  • Ali, N., Mustafa, M. S., & Ahmad, R. (2005). Interview approach as a case study method: A perception of guidance and counseling services among female students. Retrieved November 14, 2019, from http://www.eprints.utm.my/2212/1/91.DrMuhdSharif%Roslee.pdf

  • Al Horany, A., Hassan, S. A., Baba, M., & Juhari, R. (2011). Efficacy of group cognitive behavioral therapy on depression among Muslim parents of autistic children in Jordan. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 5(12), 827-832.

  • Arfasa, A. J. (2018). Perceptions of students and teachers toward guidance and counselling services in south west Ethiopia secondary schools. International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding, 5(6), 81-92. doi: 10.18415/ijmmu.v5i6.504

  • Barak, A., Hen, L., Boniel-Nissim, M., & Shapira, N. (2008). A comprehensive review and a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of internet-based psychotherapeutic interventions. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 26(2), 109-160. doi: 10.1080/15228830802094429

  • Bernama. (2020, April 16). COVID-19: 55-59 and 60-64 age groups most prone to infection - Health DG. Astroawani. https://www.astroawani.com/berita-malaysia/covid19-5559-and-6064-age-groups-most-prone-to-infection-health-dg-238708

  • Bloom, J. W. (1998). The ethical practice of web counseling. British Journal of Guidance and Counseling, 26(1), 53-59. doi: 10.1080/03069889808253838

  • Chan, S. S. C., Winnie. K. W., Wong, D. C. N., Lee, A. C. K. & Tiwari, A. (2007). Improving older adults’ knowledge and practice of preventive measures through a telephone health education during the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong: A pilot study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 44, 1120-1127. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.04.019

  • Chen, K. S., & Kok, J. K. (2017). Barriers to seeking school counselling: Malaysian Chinese school students’ perspectives. Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools, 27(2), 222–238. doi: 10.1017/jgc.2015.21

  • Cipolletta, S., & Mocellin, D. (2017). Online counseling: An exploratory survey of Italian psychologists’ attitudes towards new ways of interaction. Psychotherapy Research, 1-16. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2016.1259533

  • Cook, J., & Doyle, C. (2002). Working alliance in online therapy as compared to face-to-face therapy: Preliminary results. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 5(2), 95-105. doi: 10.1089/109493102753770480

  • Dowling, M., & Rickwood, D. (2015). A naturalistic study of the effects of synchronous online chat counselling on young people’s psychological distress, life satisfaction and hope. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 15(4), 274-283. doi: 10.1002/capr.12037

  • Fang, L., Tarshis, S., Mclnroy, L., & Mishna, F. (2017). Undergraduate student experiences with text-based online counselling. British Journal of Social Work, 48(6), 1774-1790. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcx111

  • Feijt, M., de Kort, Y., Bongers, I., Bierbooms, J., Westerink, J., & IJsselsteijn, W. (2020). Mental health care goes online: Practitioners’ experiences of providing mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 23(8). doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0370

  • Finn, J. & Barak, A. (2010). A descriptive study of e-counsellor attitudes, ethics, and practice. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 10(4), 268–277. doi: 10.1080/14733140903380847

  • Gallant, D. J., & Jing Zhao (2011). High school students’ perceptions of school counselling services: Awareness, use, and satisfaction. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 2(1), 87-100. doi: 10.1177/2150137811402671

  • Glasheen, K. J., Shochet, I., & Campbell, M. A. (2016). Online counselling in secondary schools: Would students seek help by this medium? British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 44(1), 108-122. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2015.1017805

  • Glasheen, K., McMahon, M., Campbell, M., Rickwood, D., & Shochet, I. (2017). Implementing online counselling in Australian Secondary Schools: What principals think. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. doi: 10.1007/s10447-017-9307-x

  • Gibson, K., Cartwright, C., Kerrisk, K., Campbell, J., & Seymour, F. (2016). What young people want: A qualitative study of adolescents’ priorities for engagement across psychological services. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(4), 1057–1065. doi: 10.1007/s10826-015-0292-6

  • Hawke, P. (2017). ‘Don’t just listen: Tell me what to do!’ Queensland Review, 24(1), 116-122. doi: 10.1017/qre.2017.14

  • Jaladin, R. A. M. (2013) Barriers and challenges in the practice of multicultural counselling in Malaysia: A qualitative interview study. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 26(2), 174-189. doi: 10.1080/09515070.2013.793046

  • Joyce, N. (2012). An empirical examination of the influence of personality, gender role conflict, and self-stigma on attitudes and intentions to seek online counseling in college students. [Doctor dissertation, University of Akron]. University of Akron. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=akron1341800688

  • Kalantarkousheh, S. M., Hassan, S. A., Kadir, R. A., & Talib, M. A. (2012). Effects of existential issues training on marital satisfaction among Iranian women. New Educational Review, 28(2), 29-38

  • King, R., Bambling, M., Reid, W., Lloyd, C., Gomurrra, R., Smith, S., & Wegner, K. (2006). Online counseling: The motives and experiences of young people who choose the internet instead of face to face or telephone counselling. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research, 6(3), 103-108. doi: 10.1080/14733140600848179

  • Li, T. M., & Leung, C. S. (2020). Exploring student mental health and intention to use online counseling in Hong Kong during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurociences, 74(10), 564-565. doi: 10.1111/pcn.13117

  • Luca, R. D. & Calabro, R. S. (2020). How the covid-19 pandemic is changing mental health disease management: The growing need of telecounseling in Italy. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 17(6), 16-17.

  • Lunt, P. T. (2004). Adolescents’ willingness to utilize online counseling [Doctor dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University]. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. http://hdl.handle.net/10919/26643

  • Mahfar, M., Idrus, N. L., Sabri, N. I. M. & Halim, N. N. F. A. (2018). Keinginan mendapatkan perkhidmatan kaunseling: Perspektif pelajar UTM berdasarkan model [Willingness to seek counseling services: Perspectives from UTM students based on models]. CRAMER. Jurnal Kemanusiaan, 16(1), 21-32.

  • Malaysian Board of Counsellors. (2020). Garis panduan perkhidmatan kaunseling semasa perintah kawalan pergerakan pemulihan lembaga kaunselor (Malaysia). Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia. https://www.lkm.gov.my/kpwkm/uploads/files/Pengumuman/GARIS%20PANDUAN%20PERKHIDMATAN%20%20KAUNSELING%20COVID-19%20EDARAN.pdf

  • Maryam, H., Habibah, E., Krauss, S. E., & Siti Aishah, H. (2012). An intervention programme to improve spiritual intelligence among Iranian adolescents in Malaysia. Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, 20(S), 103-116.

  • McMurtry, S. L., & Hudson, W. W. (2000). The client satisfaction inventory: Results of an initial validation study. Research on Social Work Practice, 10(5), 644-663. doi: 10.1177/104973150001000506

  • Papanna, M. K., Kumar, P., Shetty, A., Kamath, A., Bhaskaran, U., & Saddichha, S. (2012). Client satisfaction with HIV counselling services: A cross-sectional study from South India. Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care,12(3), 1-4. doi: 10.1177/1545109712444754

  • Parker, M. M., & Ray, D. C. (2017). School counseling needs of Latino students. Journal of School Counseling, 15(16), 1-30.

  • Paterson, S. M., Laajala, T., & Lehtela, P. L. (2017). Counsellor students’ conceptions of online counselling in Scotland. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 47(3), 292-303. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2017.1383357

  • Richards, D. (2009). Features and benefits of online counselling: Trinity College online mental health community. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 37(3), 231-242. doi: 10.1080/03069880902956975

  • Rochlen, A. B., Beretvas, S. N., & Zack, J. S. (2004). The online and face-to-face counseling attitudes scales: A validation study. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 37(2), 95-111. doi: 10.1080/07481756.2004.11909753

  • Sakiz, H., & Saricali, M. (2019). Paradigmatic challenges in school counselling: Correlates and reflections on practice. Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools, 29(1), 69–81. doi: 10.1017/jgc.2018.23

  • Sawyer, S. M., Afifi, R. A.., Bearinger, L. H., Blakemore, S., Dick, B., Ezeh, A. C., & Patton, G. C. (2012). Adolescence: A foundation for future health. The Lancet, 379(9826), 1630–1640. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60072-5

  • Scott, L. D., Munson, M. R. & White, T. (2009). Satisfaction with counseling among black males in transition from the foster care system. Children and Youth Review, 31(1), 161-168. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2008.07.008

  • Stephen, O. (2020). E-counselling implementation: Consideration during the covid-19 deepen crisis in Nigeria. Journal of Education and Practice, 11(17), 13-21. doi: 10.7176/JEP/11-17-02

  • Talib, M. A., Juhari, R., Madon, Z., & Rosnon, M. R. (2019). Development of skala kepuasan kaunseling mandatory [Development of mandatory counselling satisfaction scales]. Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences, 15, 96-104.

  • Wong, K. P., Bonn, G., Tam, C. L., & Wong, C. P. (2018). Preferences for online and/or face-to-face counseling among university students in Malaysia. Frontier Psychology, 9(64). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00064

  • Zeren, S. G. (2015). Face-to-face and online counseling: Client problems and satisfaction. Education and Science 2015, 40(182), 127-141. doi: 10.15390/EB.2015.4696

  • Zainudin, Z. N., & Yusop, Y. M., (2018a). Cyber-counseling: Is it really new? International Research Journal of Education and Sciences, 2(2), 19-24.

  • Zainudin, Z. N., & Yusop, Y. M., (2018b). Gender comparisons on the cyber-counseling and face-to-face counseling approaches. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(8), 242–251. doi: 10.6007/IJARBSS/v8-i3/3992

  • Zainudin, Z. N., & Yusop, Y. M., (2018c). Client’s satisfaction in face-to-face counselling and cyber counseling approaches: A comparison. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(3), 677–684. doi: 10.6007/IJARBSS/v8-i8/4462

  • Zainudin, Z. N., Yusop, Y. M., Hassan, S. A., Alias, B. S. (2019). The effectiveness of cybertherapy for the introvert and extrovert personality traits. Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences, 15(Supp1), 105-109.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles