Objective: There is a high prevalence of complex psychological distress after a traumatic brain injury but limited evidence of effective interventions. We examined the feasibility of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy after a severe traumatic brain injury using the criteria, investigating a therapeutic effect, and reviewing the acceptability of measures, treatment protocol, and delivery method (in a dyad of two clients and a therapist).
Method: Two male outpatients with severe traumatic brain injury and associated psychological distress jointly engaged in a seven session treatment program based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy principles. Pre‐ and post‐treatment measures of mood, psychological flexibility, and participation were taken in addition to weekly measures.
Results: The intervention showed a therapeutic effect with one participant, and appeared to be acceptable for both participants with regard to program content, measures, and delivery mode by in a dyad. One participant showed both significant clinical and reliable change across several outcome measures including measures of mood and psychological flexibility. The second participant did not show a reduction in psychological inflexibility, but did show a significant drop in negative affect. Significant changes pre‐ to post‐treatment for measures of participation were not indicated. Qualitatively, both participants engaged in committed action set in accordance with their values.
Conclusions: This study suggests that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy may be feasible to be delivered in a dyad with individuals who have a severe traumatic brain injury. A further test of its potential efficacy in a phase II clinical trial is recommended.