Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group for treatment-resistant participants: A randomized controlled trial

Sue Clarke, Jessica Kingston, Kirsty James, Helen Bolderston, Bob Remington

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a theoretically coherent approach addressing common processes across a range of disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a group-based ACT intervention for “treatment-resistant” participants with various diagnoses, who had already completed at least one psychosocial intervention. Of 61 individuals randomized into a service-based trial comparing ACT and Treatment as Usual based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TAU-CBT), 45 provided data (ACT n=26; TAU-CBT n=19). Primary outcomes were measures of psychological symptoms. All participants showed reduced symptoms immediately after intervention but improvements were more completely sustained in the ACT group at 6-month follow-up. More elaborate and more fully controlled evaluations are required to confirm the findings, improve understanding of ACT processes and assess health economic benefits.

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