The Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Improving Quality of Life among Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors
Lyon, Lauren C.
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Every year, approximately 1. 7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The individuals who survive these injuries suffer from a wide range of deficits and impairments that are notoriously difficult to both assess and treat. This study aims to determine a more effective means of improving the overall quality of life for an individual that sustains a TBI. A new mindfulness-based, cognitive-behavioral therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been shown to improve quality of life for a variety of populations. We introduced 12 weeks of ACT to a group of20 participants recruited from Ann Arbor Rehabilitation Centers Inc. (AARC) who had experienced a TBI 2-10 years prior. A second treatment group consisting of 20 participants 2-10 years post-injury was also recruited from AARC and received a different mindfulness-based therapy called mindfulness based stress-: reduction (MBSR). A third group of 20 participants was similarly recruited to serve as the control which received only treatment as usual (TAU). Quality of life was measured both pre- and postintervention using 5 different tests/questionnaires. Questionnaires both directly and indirectly measured aspects indicative of quality of life. We hypothesized that ACT would prove superior in improving quality of life for TBI individuals over not only TAU, but also over an MBSR approach, due to the ACT model's unique applicability to the symptoms this population commonly suffers from. We hope these findings will both provide TBI rehabilitation clinicians with an effective alternate method for treatment as well as encourage the necessity for further research in the area of TBI rehabilitation techniques.