Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Scores High with Depressed Vets
Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System assessed therapist and patient outcomes from a national training initiative with eleven cohorts (391 therapists and 745 depressed patients) across the country in using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression or ACT-D.
Three-hundred thirty four therapists successfully completed the requirements of the ACT-D training program.
Ninety-six percent of therapists achieved competency by the end of training, as 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.
The therapeutic alliance increased significantly over the course of therapy.
Most consequentially, the mean depression scores of patients decreased from 30 at baseline assessment to 19 at final assessment, t(367) = -20.3, p < 0.001. Quality of life scores also increased.
The evaluation concludes that 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.
Citation: Walser RD, Karlin BE, Trockel M, Mazina B, Barr Taylor C. Training in and implementation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression in the Veterans Health Administration: therapist and patient outcomes. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2013 Sep;51 (9): pp. 555-63.