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Self-help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Carers of People with Multiple Sclerosis: A Feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial.

Authors
  • Potter, Kristy-Jane1
  • Golijana-Moghaddam, Nima2
  • Evangelou, Nikos3
  • Mhizha-Murira, Jacqueline R4
  • das Nair, Roshan5
  • 1 Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK.
  • 2 University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK.
  • 3 Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
  • 4 School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
  • 5 Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2021
Volume
28
Issue
2
Pages
279–294
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10880-020-09711-x
PMID: 32144616
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an established psychological therapy, but its effectiveness for carers of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experiencing carer-related strain has not been established. This study assessed the acceptability and feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial comparing ACT self-help, telephone-supported ACT self-help, and usual care. We describe a mixed-method, parallel three-armed feasibility randomised controlled trial. Participants were carers (i.e. caregivers) of people with MS. The self-help group received an ACT self-help text (covered over 8 weeks), the enhanced self-help group additionally received weekly telephone support. All participants completed questionnaires at baseline, 3-month, and 6-month post-randomisation, assessing carer strain, health-related quality of life, and ACT-related processes. A sample of participants was also interviewed. Twenty-four carers were randomised. Participants found the study procedures to be acceptable, but highlighted difficulties with the self-help text and timing of the intervention. An exploratory, group-level analysis indicated effectiveness for the enhanced self-help group on carer strain (consistent across both follow-ups), with convergent qualitative reports to support this. A full trial of ACT-based, telephone-supported self-help is warranted, including both the self-help and enhanced self-help design, following significant adaptions to the self-help itself. An internal pilot would, therefore, be recommended to further assess the feasibility after changes are incorporated.Trial registration: The trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03077971).

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