Title

A Meta-analytic Review of Acceptance-Based Behavioral Interventions for the Treatment of Anxiety

Author

David Shanley

Date of Award

7-25-2013

Degree Name

Psy.D.

Department

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John McNeill

First Committee Member

Peter Buirski

Second Committee Member

Arnica Buckner

Keywords

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Quantitative Research; Behavior/CBT; Meta-analytic Review; Acceptance

Abstract

The relative popularity of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) has grown in recent years, and inspired the development of contemporary acceptance-based treatment approaches. Acceptance-based therapies differ from traditional cognitive- behavior therapy (CBT) on pragmatic grounds, the import of which implicates the purpose of therapy. CBT utilizes exposure and cognitive change techniques primarily in service of symptom change outcomes; whereas, ACT utilizes exposure and acceptance for purposes of promoting psychological flexibility in the pursuit of personal values. The purpose of this meta-analytic study was to determine the relative efficacy of acceptance- based versus symptom-change behavioral approaches with anxiety disorders and to quantify this impact. A comprehensive literature search turned up 18 studies that met inclusion criteria for this analysis. An effect size was calculated using the standardized mean gain procedure for both the acceptance-based and symptom-change approaches, along with the waitlist control groups. The results demonstrate a large effect size for the acceptance-based approach (Weighted mean ES = .83) and a medium effect size for symptom-change approach (Weighted mean ES = .60). The waitlist control groups demonstrated a small effect size (Weighted mean ES = .24). Based on this review, it is suggested that graduate and internship programs in Clinical Psychology should promote evidence-based training in the use of acceptance-inspired behavioral therapies.

Comments

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

Extent

40 pages

Paper Method

Empirical - Quantitative

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