Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Guided Online for Distressed Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Objectives: This study examined the effects of a guided online acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) intervention on distressed family caregivers of persons living with dementia and explored the experiences of these caregivers in the ACT intervention. Methods: Seven family caregivers experiencing psychological distress individually participated in 10 ACT videoconference sessions guided by a trained coach. Quantitative data, such as psychological distress, burden, and ACT processes, were collected at pretest and posttest and analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Individual interviews were conducted at posttest and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Statistically significant reductions were found in depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, and burden (p < .05) with medium effect sizes. ACT sessions helped caregivers gain renewed strength by: being equipped with resources to use under distress throughout the caregiving journey; being more self-compassionate and taking care of one’s self; and being more patient with relatives with dementia. Conclusions: Findings contribute to the limited evidence in guided online ACT for caregivers of persons living with dementia. Further studies with a larger sample size are needed to evaluate the efficacy of guided online ACT. Clinical implications: Guided online ACT may reduce depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, and burden of family caregivers of persons living with dementia.
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    Author List

  • Han A; Yuen HK; Jenkins J; Yun Lee H