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Title: Exploring Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and psychological processes in carer distress
Author: Mawdsley, Lucinda
ISNI:       0000 0005 0288 0109
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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Objective: People acting in a caring role can experience elevated levels of distress. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of conducting a clinical trial evaluating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to increase psychological flexibility and reduce psychological distress in informal carers of people who have experienced an episode of psychosis. Participants: Fifteen participants consented to participate in a four-session ACT group intervention and completed questionnaires at baseline and post-intervention. Design: A feasibility study design was employed (Phase 1) based on the PICO framework. This was followed by a focus group (Phase 2) that was analysed using thematic analysis. Measures: The following assessment measures were completed at baseline and at post-intervention assessment points: the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form, the Valued Living Questionnaire, the General Health Questionnaire, the Zarit Burden Interview, the State Version of the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire, the Experiential Avoidance in Caregiving Questionnaire and fear of recurrence of psychosis was measured by two idiographic Likert scales. The facilitators fidelity to the ACT model was measured via the ACTs of ACT Fidelity Scale. Results: The study was found to be feasible, and both acceptable and helpful to participants. Of those that started the intervention (n=12), 60% were retained throughout the study. Results indicate promising treatment effects across all outcomes, with particular improvements in general levels of distress and cognitive fusion. Conclusion: This is the first study to explore the use of ACT for carers of people with psychosis. Due to the promising results for feasibility, acceptability, satisfaction and initial treatment effects, a pilot randomised trial is now warranted to explore efficacy of the intervention.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral