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Acceptance and commitment therapy as a web-based intervention for depressive symptoms: Randomised controlled trial

  • Wendy T. M. Pots (a1), Martine Fledderus (a2), Peter A. M. Meulenbeek (a3), Peter M. ten Klooster (a4), Karlein M. G. Schreurs (a4) and Ernst T. Bohlmeijer (a4)...
Abstract
Background

Depression is a highly prevalent disorder, causing a large burden of disease and substantial economic costs. Web-based self-help interventions seem promising in promoting mental health.

Aims

To compare the efficacy of a guided web-based intervention based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with an active control (expressive writing) and a waiting-list control condition (Netherlands Trial Register NTR1296).

Method

Adults with depressive symptoms from the general population were randomised to ACT (n = 82), expressive writing (n = 67) or waiting-list control (n = 87). The main outcome was reduction in depressive symptoms assessed with the Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression scale.

Results

Significant reductions in depressive symptoms were found following the ACT intervention, compared with the control group (Cohen's d = 0.56) and the expressive writing intervention (d = 0.36). The effects were sustained at 6-month and 12-month follow-up.

Conclusions

Acceptance and commitment therapy as a web-based public mental health intervention for adults with depressive symptoms can be effective and applicable.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Wendy Pots, University of Twente, Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, Cubicus, Drienerlolaan 5, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. Email: w.t.m.pots@utwente.nl
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Acceptance and commitment therapy as a web-based intervention for depressive symptoms: Randomised controlled trial

  • Wendy T. M. Pots (a1), Martine Fledderus (a2), Peter A. M. Meulenbeek (a3), Peter M. ten Klooster (a4), Karlein M. G. Schreurs (a4) and Ernst T. Bohlmeijer (a4)...
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Response to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Michael Fitzgerald, Psychiatrist, Trinity College Dublin
08 April 2016

Pots Et al.1, in their study of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, found what has been found in innumerable trials that pretty much all forms of Therapy have similar outcomes. There showing again that by and large specificity is weak or non-existent as demonstrated by Wampold et al.2. The most fascinating element of non-medical treatments for mental disorders is the lack of specificity. Why? It's the relationship! ... More

Conflict of interest: None Declared

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