Women hospitalized for medically high-risk pregnancies are at a greater risk for experiencing anxiety and depression than those who have low-risk pregnancies. An acceptance-based intervention (ACT) may be particularly suitable for such women, as it teaches them to stay in the present and experience uncomfortable sensations and thoughts. The aim of this study is to pilot-test the feasibility and acceptability of a brief ACT therapy on coping skills and psychological outcomes for pregnant women on hospitalized bedrest. Five patients admitted to the hospital for medically complicated pregnancies participated in a 7-day ACT intervention. Psychological outcomes (trauma, anxiety, depression and psychological flexibility) were assessed at baseline, mid-intervention, post-intervention and at a 1-month postpartum follow-up. Treatment credibility ratings were high, adherence to the homework modules was good and no adverse events were reported. Feedback from participants was mostly positive. Baseline levels of depression, anxiety, prenatal distress and PTSD symptoms were minimal, though trends of improvement were visible. High negative affect and low positive affect observed at baseline demonstrated the largest improvements during and following the intervention. Psychological flexibility was high at the baseline assessment and scores at the last assessments indicated minor changes. Overall, the brief ACT intervention was acceptable for participants and a feasible intervention to implement in a medical setting. Despite several limitations, the results provide promising evidence for the benefit of ACT interventions in improving outcomes for women at-risk for psychiatric disorders.
Alicia E. Meuret, PhD
Thomas Ritz, PhD
Michael Twohig, PhD
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Tunnell, Natalie, "Brief, Acceptance-based Intervention for Women with High-risk Pregnancies: A Pilot Case Series" (2019). Psychology Theses and Dissertations. 12.