Acceptance and commitment therapy program for distressed adults with a primary brain tumor: a case series study

Maria Kangas*, Skye McDonald, Janet R. Williams, Robert I. Smee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinionpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Research has indicated that adults diagnosed with a primary brain tumor (BT) are susceptible to experiencing anxiety and depressive problems post-diagnosis. However, there is a notable paucity of psychological interventions which have been tested with adult BT patients. An acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)-based manualized program was developed for anxious and/or depressed BT patients. The preliminary efficacy of this program was initially tested using a proof-of-concept study design based on a case series of four clinically distressed BT patients. Three of the four participants no longer met criteria for anxiety and/or depressive disorders at post-therapy, and these effects were maintained at 3 months of follow-up. The fourth participant, who had a premorbid psychiatric history, experienced a stabilization of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Given the current dearth of studies which have tested psychological interventions for distressed BT survivors, these preliminary findings have promising clinical utility. However, the efficacy of psychological interventions tailored for clinically distressed BT patients needs to be further tested using larger-scale controlled trial designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2855-2859
Number of pages5
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2015


  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Anxiety
  • Brain tumor
  • Depression
  • Posttraumatic stress


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