A randomized trial of ACT bibliotherapy on the mental health of K-12 teachers and staff

Behav Res Ther. 2012 Sep;50(9):571-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 Jun 9.


The mental health challenges of some vocations present a challenge for current intervention models. Bibliotherapy focused on transdiagnostic processes that might both prevent and alleviate a range of mental health distress could be an effective and practical approach. K-12 school personnel (N = 236; 91% female; 30-60 years old) responding to a wellness-oriented program announcement were randomized to receive an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) self-help volume or to a waitlist. Three-fourths were above clinical cutoffs in general mental health, depression, anxiety, or stress. Participants read the book for two months, completed exercises and quizzes, and after post assessment were followed for 10 weeks; waitlist participants were then also given the book with two months to complete it. Overall, participants showed significant improvement in psychological health. Significant preventive effects for depression and anxiety were observed along with significant ameliorative effects for those in the clinical ranges of depression, anxiety and stress. Follow up general mental health, depression, and anxiety outcomes were related to the manner in which participants used the workbook and to post levels of psychological flexibility.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / prevention & control
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Bibliotherapy / methods*
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Faculty*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome