Training in and implementation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression in the Veterans Health Administration: Therapist and patient outcomes

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APA Citation: 

Walser, R. D., Karlin, B. E., Trockel, M., Mazina, B., & Taylor, C. B. (2013). Training in and implementation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression in the Veterans Health Administration: Therapist and patient outcomes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51(9), 555-563.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Depression; Veterans; Dissemination
Abstract: 

Objective

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented a national dissemination and training initiative to promote the availability of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression (ACT-D). This paper reports on therapist and patient outcomes associated with competency-based training in and implementation of ACT-D.

Method

Therapist and patient outcomes were assessed on eleven cohorts of therapists (n = 391) and their patients (n = 745).

Results

Three-hundred thirty four therapists successfully completed all requirements of the Training Program. Ninety-six percent of therapists achieved competency by the end of training, compared to 21% at the outset of training. Mixed effects model analysis indicated therapists' overall ACT-D competency scores increased from 76 to 112 (conditional SD = 6.6), p < 0.001. Moreover, training was associated with significantly increased therapist self-efficacy and positive attitudes toward ACT-D. Therapeutic alliance increased significantly over the course of therapy. Mixed effects model analysis revealed that mean BDI-II scores decreased from 30 at baseline assessment to 19 (conditional SD = 5.6) at final assessment, t(367) = −20.3, p < 0.001. Quality of life scores also increased.

Conclusions

Training in and implementation of ACT-D in the treatment of Veterans is associated with significant increases in therapist competency and robust improvements in patient outcomes.