Changes in proposed mechanisms of action during an acceptance-based behavior therapy for generalized anxiety disorder

University of Massachusetts Boston, USA.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 11/2009; 48(3):238-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.11.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Based on the theory that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is maintained through a reactive and fused relationship with one's internal experiences and a tendency towards experiential avoidance and behavioral restriction, an acceptance-based behavior therapy (ABBT) was developed to specifically target these elements. Since ABBT has been shown to be an efficacious treatment in previous studies, the current study focuses on proposed mechanisms of change over the course of therapy. Specifically, the current study focuses on session-by-session changes in two proposed mechanisms of change: acceptance of internal experiences and engagement in meaningful activities. Overall, clients receiving ABBT reported an increase in the amount of time spent accepting internal experiences and engaging in valued activities. Change in both acceptance and engagement in meaningful activities was related to responder status at post-treatment and change in these two proposed mechanisms predicted outcome above and beyond change in worry. In addition, change in acceptance was related to reported quality of life at post-treatment.


Available from: Lizabeth Roemer, May 03, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is associated with a diminished quality of life and co morbidity with other anxiety and mood disorders. Acceptance-based behavior therapy (ABBT) is a new treatment that introduced for treatment of GAD. The current study compared ABBT to Applied Relaxation (AR) -the most utilized psychological therapy for GAD. Materials and Methods: Thirty two women with GAD who were referred from psychiatrics offices in Isfahan city were recruited to participate in the study. They were then administered the SCID/CV. Twenty four subjects who met the criteria for GAD were assigned to two groups (ABBT and AR) randomly. The groups received similar medication. The ABBT and AR participated in 12 weekly therapy sessions. The instruments used in the study at pre and post test included the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 item scale (GAD-7) and Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ). The data were analyzed using the multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). Results: No significant differences were found between ABBT and AR groups in anxiety symptoms and worry (P>0.05). Conclusion: Overall, based on the findings of this study, one can conclude that the acceptance-based behavior therapy does not seem to be different from the applied relaxation therapy for treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.