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Individuals perspectives related to acceptance, values and mindfulness following participation in an acceptance-based pain management programme (Pages 96-102)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 16, April 2020, Pages 96-102


Máire-Bríd Casey, David Murphy, Rachel Neary, Ciaran Wade, Conor Hearty, Catherine Doody


There is a growing body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for chronic pain. However, individuals' experiences and opinions of ACT and the underlying processes have rarely been examined. The aim of this study was to explore patients’ views, in relation to the processes acceptance and values, in addition to mindfulness, which is a core construct of ACT. A qualitative study was conducted with individuals, following attendance of a multidisciplinary pain management programme that included education, exercise and ACT-based psychology sessions. The study comprised of four semi-structured focus group interviews with eleven participants. Focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was performed and five main themes were identified: (1) Acceptance, with three sub-themes noted in relation to the process of acceptance: (i) an initial strong emotional reaction, (ii) evolving perspectives (iii) non-acceptance; (2) chronic pain beliefs; (3) empathy and validation; (4) values, with three sub-themes including (i) family and self-care, (ii) social activity, (iii) work and (5) being in the moment. This study provides new insights into the perspectives of individuals who have taken part in a multidisciplinary pain management programme, which included ACT-based psychology sessions. Factors which influenced engagement with the core processes underlying this therapeutic model are discussed.

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