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Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for clinically distressed health care workers: Waitlist-controlled evaluation of an ACT workshop in a routine practice setting

Waters, Cerith S., Frude, Neil, Flaxman, Paul E. and Boyd, Jane 2018. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for clinically distressed health care workers: Waitlist-controlled evaluation of an ACT workshop in a routine practice setting. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 57 (1) , pp. 82-98. 10.1111/bjc.12155

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Abstract

Objectives To examine the effects of a 1-day acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) workshop on the mental health of clinically distressed health care employees, and to explore ACT's processes of change in a routine practice setting. Design A quasi-controlled design, with participants block allocated to an ACT intervention or waiting list control group based on self-referral date. Methods Participants were 35 health care workers who had self-referred for the ACT workshop via a clinical support service for staff. Measures were completed by ACT and control group participants at pre-intervention and 3 months post-intervention. Participants allocated to the waitlist condition went on to receive the ACT intervention and were also assessed 3 months later. Results At 3 months post-intervention, participants in the ACT group reported a significantly lower level of psychological distress compared to the control group (d = 1.41). Across the 3-month evaluation period, clinically significant change was exhibited by 50% of ACT participants, compared to 0% in the control group. When the control group received the same ACT intervention, 69% went on to exhibit clinically significant change. The ACT intervention also resulted in significant improvements in psychological flexibility, defusion, and mindfulness skills, but did not significantly reduce the frequency of negative cognitions. Bootstrapped mediation analyses indicated that the reduction in distress in the ACT condition was primarily associated with an increase in mindfulness skills, especially observing and non-reactivity. Conclusions These findings provide preliminary support for providing brief ACT interventions as part of routine clinical support services for distressed workers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0144-6657
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 5 July 2017
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2020 05:20
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/105068

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