Category: Treatment - Mindfulness

Symposium

Accepting Feeling and Pursuing Valued Behaviors: Session-by-Session Mediation of ACT for Anxious Cancer Survivors

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom A, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy)
Presentation Type: Symposium

Recent dismantling work suggests that the two major processes in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) – acceptance and cognitive defusion, and values-based activation – can be reliably distinguished and make distinct contributions to intervention outcomes.  However, little work has examined the relative contribution of each process in full-package ACT interventions.  In an ongoing randomized clinical trial (n = 64 enrolled to date), we evaluate the benefits of (full package) ACT for anxious cancer survivors relative to usual care.  Preliminary findings demonstrate significant benefits of ACT on multiple outcomes, including trauma symptoms and avoidance related to cancer, ps < .05.  The current paper evaluates session-by-session mediators for each of these two hypothesized processes, acceptance and values-based behavior, in predicting outcomes among patients randomized to the ACT intervention (n= 36 to date).  During treatment, preliminary analyses indicate very large and significant increases in session-by-session measures of values-based behavior, = .28, and moderate to large reductions in experiential avoidance, = .09, the two putative mediators. We will next employ a multiple mediator model to evaluate the relative contribution of each ACT process to outcomes.  We will also build a time-lagged model to evaluate the direction of influence over time of each ACT process toward the other.  In summary, this paper will advance the nascent literature on the relative contribution of cognitive/affective versus behavioral processes to outcomes of mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions.

Joanna Arch

Assistant Professor
The University of Colorado at Boulder

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