Testing the differential effects of acceptance and attention-based psychological interventions on intrusive thoughts and worry.

Ainsworth, B., Bolderston, H. and Garner, M., 2017. Testing the differential effects of acceptance and attention-based psychological interventions on intrusive thoughts and worry. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 91 (April), pp. 72-77.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2017.01.012

Abstract

Background: Worry is a key component of anxiety and may be an effective target for therapeutic intervention. We compared two psychological processes (attention and acceptance) on the frequency of intrusive worrying thoughts in an experimental worry task. Method: 77 participants were randomised across three groups and completed either a 10 minute attention or acceptance-based psychological exercise, or progressive muscle relaxation control. We subsequently measured anxiety, and the content and frequency of intrusive thoughts before and after a ‘worry induction task’. Results: Groups did not differ in baseline worry, anxiety or thought intrusions. Both attention and acceptance-based groups experienced fewer negative thought intrusions (post-worry) compared to the relaxation control group. The acceptance exercise had the largest effect, preventing ‘worry induction’. Increases in negative intrusive thoughts predicted subjective anxiety. Discussion: We provide evidence that acceptance and attention psychological exercises may reduce anxiety by reducing the negative thought intrusions that characterise worry.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0005-7967
Additional Information:Open Access funded by Medical Research Council
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anxiety; Attention; Acceptance; Mindfulness; Meditation; Worry
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:26777
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:02 Feb 2017 10:06
Last Modified:20 Feb 2017 14:27

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