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Content validity and perceived utility of a self-help online acceptance and commitment therapy program focused on repetitive negative thinking (Pages 1-10)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 26, October 2022, Pages 1-10


Marge A. Sierra, Francisco J. Ruiz


Telehealth strategies have become essential for responding to the sanitary emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, developing online psychological interventions (OPIs) that can treat and prevent psychological difficulties is gaining more relevance. This article describes an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) based OPI focused on repetitive negative thinking (RNT). This OPI is called Disentangled, Aware, and Committed (DAC) and represents an attempt to adapt previous RNT-focused ACT protocols to this format type. Study 1 evaluated content validity through the assessment of four experts in ACT regarding clarity, utility, pertinence, conceptual adjustment, and therapeutic goal fulfillment for each component of the DAC program. In Study 2, forty-one undergraduate clinical psychology trainees rated the components of the DAC program according to its clarity and perceived utility. These participants were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial that analyzed the efficacy of the DAC to prevent the usually observed increase in emotional symptoms and RNT among this population. Expert reviewers in Study 1 rated all DAC components as clear and useful for potential users, following a logical order, theoretically coherent with the ACT model, and successfully fulfilling its stated goals. In Study 2, the participants also rated the DAC components as clear and potentially useful for their lives. In conclusion, the DAC appears to be a feasible transdiagnostic OPI for treating and preventing emotional symptoms, which warrants further studies analyzing its efficacy.

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