Acceptance-Oriented CBT with Highly Distressed Rheumatic Disease Patients

CBT studyOBJECTIVE: To examine the potential effectiveness of a multimodal rehabilitation program including an acceptance-oriented cognitive-behavioral therapy for highly distressed patients with rheumatic diseases.

METHODS: An observational study employing a one-group pre-post test design (N=25). The primary outcome was psychological distress. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, illness acceptance, and coping flexibility. Group pre-to-post and pre-to-12 months follow-up treatment changes were evaluated by paired-samples t-tests and Cohen’s effect sizes (d). Individual changes were evaluated by the reliable change index (RCI) and clinically significant change (CSC) parameters.

RESULTS: Significant effects were found post-treatment and maintained at 12 months in psychological distress (d>0.80), illness acceptance (d=1.48) and the SF-36 subscales role physical, vitality, and mental health (d ? 0.65). No significant effects were found for coping flexibility and the SF-36 subscales physical functioning, bodily pain, social functioning, and role emotional. Both a reliable (RCI) and clinically significant (CSC) improvement was observed for almost half of the highly distressed patients.

CONCLUSION: The patients enrolled in the multimodal rehabilitation program showed improved psychological health status from pre to post-treatment.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: A randomized clinical trial is needed to confirm or refute the added value of an acceptance-oriented

Vriezekolk, J. E., Eijsbouts, A. M., van, L. W. G., Beenackers, H., Geenen, R., & van, . E. C. H. (2013). An acceptance-oriented cognitive-behavioral therapy in multimodal rehabilitation: a pre-post test evaluation in highly distressed patients with rheumatic diseases. Patient Education and Counseling, 91, 3, 357-63.