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Self-Help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Carers of People with Multiple Sclerosis : A Feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial

Potter, Kristy-Jane; Golijana‑Moghaddam, Nima; Evangelou, Nikos; Mhizha-Murira, Jacqueline; Nair, Roshan


Kristy-Jane Potter

Nima Golijana‑Moghaddam

Nikos Evangelou

Roshan Nair



Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an established psychological therapy, but its effectiveness for carers of people with Multiple Sclerosis experiencing carer-related strain has not been established. This study assessed the acceptability and feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial comparing ACT self-help, telephone-supported ACT self-help, and usual care.


We describe a mixed-method, parallel three-armed feasibility randomised controlled trial. Participants were carers (i.e. caregivers) of people with multiple sclerosis. The self-help group received an ACT self-help text (covered over eight weeks), the enhanced self-help group additionally received weekly telephone support. All participants completed questionnaires at baseline, three-months, and six-months post-randomisation, assessing carer strain, health-related quality of life, and ACT-related processes. A sample of participants were also interviewed.


Twenty-four carers were randomised. Participants found the study procedures to be acceptable, but highlighted difficulties with the self-help text and timing of the intervention. An exploratory, group-level analysis indicated effectiveness for the enhanced self-help group on carer strain (consistent across both follow-ups), with convergent qualitative reports to support this.


A full trial of ACT-based, telephone-supported self-help is warranted, including both the self-help and enhanced self-help design, following significant adaptions to the self-help itself. An internal pilot would, therefore, be recommended to further assess the feasibility after changes are incorporated.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 6, 2020
Journal Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Print ISSN 1068-9583
Electronic ISSN 1573-3572
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Nair, R., Martin, K., Moghaddam, N., Evangelou, N., & Mhizha-Murira, J. (2020). Self-Help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Carers of People with Multiple Sclerosis : A Feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings,
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