Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a disabling condition which can be treated with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). The present study tested the effects of therapist-guided internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy on symptoms of GAD and quality of life. An audio CD with acceptance and mindfulness exercises and a separate workbook were also included in the treatment. Participants diagnosed with GAD (N = 103) were randomly allocated to immediate therapist-guided internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy or to a waiting-list control condition. A six month follow-up was also included. Results using hierarchical linear modelling showed moderate to large effects on symptoms of GAD (Cohen's d = 0.70 to 0.98), moderate effects on depressive symptoms (Cohen's d = 0.51 to 0.56), and no effect on quality of life. Follow-up data showed maintained effects. While there was a 20% dropout rate, sensitivity analyses showed that dropouts did not differ in their degree of change during treatment. To conclude, our study suggests that internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy can be effective in reducing the symptoms of GAD.
Keywords: Acceptance; Generalized anxiety disorder; Internet-based behaviour therapy; Mindfulness; Randomized controlled trial.
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