Is it time to act? the potential of acceptance and commitment therapy for psychological problems following acquired brain injury

Maria Kangas*, Skye McDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Behaviour therapies have a well-established, useful tradition in psychological treatments and have undergone several major revisions. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based approaches are considered a third wave of behavioural therapies. Emerging evidence for ACT has demonstrated that this paradigm has promising effectiveness in improving functionality and well-being in a variety of populations that have psychological disturbances and/or medical problems. In this review we first evaluate traditional cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) interventions used to manage psychological problems in distressed individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury (ABI). We provide an overview of the ACT paradigm and the existent evidence base for this intervention. A rationale is outlined for why ACT-based interventions may have potential utility in assisting distressed individuals who have sustained a mild to moderate ABI to move forward with their lives. We also review emerging evidence that lends preliminary support to the implementation of acceptance and mindfulness-based interventions in the rehabilitation of ABI patient groups. On the basis of existent literature, we recommend that it is an opportune time for forthcoming research to rigorously test the efficacy of ACT-based interventions in facilitating ABI patient groups to re-engage in living a valued and meaningful life, in spite of their neurocognitive and physical limitations. The promising utility of testing the efficacy of the ACT paradigm in the context of multimodal rehabilitation programmes for ABI populations is also addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-276
Number of pages27
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

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