A feasibility study of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to promote the wellbeing of carers of people with dementia : & clinical research portfolio

Pegler, Ruth (2017) A feasibility study of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to promote the wellbeing of carers of people with dementia : & clinical research portfolio. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Caring for a person with dementia is thought to increase the likelihood of experiencing reduced emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. It is therefore important to consider what types of support may be beneficial. Emerging evidence suggests that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may have positive effects on individuals’ subjective wellbeing. To date, the potential efficacy of ACT for enhancing subjective wellbeing in carers of people with dementia has not been fully explored.

The primary focus of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of delivering an ACT group for caregivers of people with dementia. Study aims were investigated using the PICO framework (Population, Intervention, Control, Outcome) and included questions regarding recruitment, retention, intervention fidelity, acceptability and signs of efficacy.

A mixed methods uncontrolled feasibility trial design was used. The ACT group was delivered over three 2.5-hour sessions at two different sites. The following outcome measures were administered at baseline and at the end of the final session: Mental Health Continuum - Short Form, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire - II, Experiential Avoidance in Caregivers Questionnaire, and the Caregiver Burden Scale. Acceptability of the intervention was measured using a semi-structured group interview and evaluation questionnaire.

Recruitment, although successful, highlighted challenges for services and service users. Eighteen participants were recruited (group 1 = 12, group 2 = 6) and over one quarter of participants did not attend all three groups (group 1 = 2, group 2 = 3) due to poor physical health and caring duties. The group was delivered with fidelity to the ACT model. Group participation was associated with increased levels of overall subjective wellbeing, particularly social wellbeing. No significant changes were observed in terms of emotional or psychological wellbeing, psychological flexibility or burden. Overall, participants declared the group to be acceptable and useful.

There is a need to improve support options for carers of people with dementia. Larger scale studies (e.g. RCTs) might continue to explore the efficacy and change mechanisms of ACT interventions for this population. Optimisation of the group delivery (e.g. session quantity) would be useful as part of future intervention development.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, feasibility, carers, dementia, wellbeing.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McLeod, Dr. Hamish and White, Dr. Ross
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Ruth Pegler
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8401
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2017 13:02
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2017 11:22
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/8401

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