Acceptance and commitment: An intervention for improving family function and emotional problems in informal caregivers of people with severe traumatic brain injury: A randomized clinical trial

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical Psychology, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

3 Trauma Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran



Background and Objectives: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the main causes of disability. Since individuals with TBI experience many problems in their daily life, they must be highly supported. Regarding the nature of their problems, their caregivers suffer from many psychological problems. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of group acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on the family function, experiential avoidance, and anxiety of the TBI patients' caregivers. Methods: The current study was a randomized clinical trial with waiting list and intervention groups. Forty caregivers of TBI patients who referred to Kashan's Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Iran, since 2017 until 2019 were randomly assigned to the experimental (n = 20) and the waiting list control (n = 20) groups. Both the groups completed a demographic information questionnaire, the Family Assessment Device, the Experiential Avoidance in Caregiving Questionnaire, and the anxiety subscale of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale in pretest, posttest, 3-month follow-up, and 6-month follow-up. Results: The results of repeated measures analysis of variance showed that ACT program can significantly decrease the anxiety, experiential avoidance, and most of the dimensions of the family functions (P < 0.005). Conclusion: ACT could be utilized to improve the family functions and reduce the experiential avoidance and the anxiety of the TBI patients' caregivers. This trial is registered with the Registry of Clinical Trials: “IRCT20190704044100N1.”


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