Assessing the Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Distress Following Psychosis

2014-08-27 03:18:22 | BioPortfolio


This research investigates a new talking therapy aimed at helping people to come to terms with the experience of psychosis. The new therapy is called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for psychosis (PACT). PACT aims to help people:

1. Develop a sense of "mindfulness." Mindfulness allows you to be fully aware of your here-and-now experience, with an attitude of openness and curiosity. It is hoped that this will help reduce the impact of painful thoughts and feelings.

2. Take effective action that is conscious and deliberate, rather than impulsive. It is hoped that this will allow people to be motivated, guided, and inspired by the things that they value in life.

It is hoped that PACT will help to reduce the level of distress that individuals diagnosed with psychosis have been experiencing and help them to stay well in the future.


Emphasis has been placed on treating the 'positive symptoms' of psychosis (e.g. hallucinations and delusions). Concordance rates with anti-psychotic medication can be low. Even when positive symptoms are successfully treated, emotional distress can remain e.g. depression, anxiety and trauma. Relapse occurs in up to two thirds of patients within two years of the first episode. The treatment of subsequent episodes has been shown to be progressively less efficacious. Research has shown that fear of recurrence patients can experience following psychosis is predictive of relapse. Randomised clinical trials have found that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBTp) is efficacious for treating residual distressing positive and negative symptoms. However, the evidence for treating emotional dysfunction (e.g. social anxiety, post-psychotic depression) is less clear. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) incorporates acceptance and mindfulness elements into a CBT framework. Rather than altering the content or frequency of cognitions, ACT seeks to alter the individual's psychological relationship with thoughts, feelings and sensations to promote psychological flexibility. This research will be a pilot randomised control trial of ACT for treating distress following psychosis. This pilot study will establish (a) whether a larger scale multi-centre randomised controlled trial is warranted, (b) the acceptability of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (c) the expected primary and secondary outcomes for such a trial and (d) the sample size required to detect such outcomes. It is hypothesised that ACT plus treatment as usual will be associated with a greater reduction in levels of distress than treatment as usual only.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment




Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS
United Kingdom
G3 8YZ


Not yet recruiting


University of Glasgow

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:18:22-0400

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