Telephone-supported acceptance and commitment bibliotherapy for people with multiple sclerosis and psychological distress: A pilot randomised controlled trial

Barnaby J. Proctor, Nima G. Moghaddam, Nikos Evangelou, & Roshandas Nair

A few randomised controlled trials (RCTs) show that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is beneficial for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but the effectiveness of telephone-supported self-help ACT for people with MS with low mood has not been evaluated. We assessed the feasibility of conducting an RCT of an intervention (8 weekly telephone-calls plus a self-help ACT book) compared to treatment-as-usual. Participants’ mood, quality of life, and impact of MS were assessed at baseline and 12 weeks post-randomisation. Some were interviewed to assess feasibility and acceptability. Twenty-seven participants were randomised. Most participants found the trial procedures acceptable. We found a large and significant effect at follow-up, favouring the intervention in reducing anxiety (d = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.02–1.66). However, the high attrition rate (33% overall) meant that the trial in its current format was not feasible. The intervention needs to be revised following user-testing and feedback before it can be put to a full trial.

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