Compassion-focused self-help for psychological distress associated with skin conditions: a randomized feasibility trial

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Hudson, MP
Thompson, AR
Emerson, LM
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2019
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Abstract

Objective: This study tested the feasibility of a self-help intervention based on Compassion-Focused Theory (CFT), and estimated treatment effects in a population of adults with skin conditions and associated psychological distress. Design: A randomized-controlled design was used, with 176 participants being allocated to either CFT-based self-help or a waitlist control group, who received usual medical care. The two-week intervention was provided by email. Main Outcome Measures: Treatment adherence and attrition rates were calculated, and effectiveness was estimated using measures of perceived stress, anxiety, depression, dermatology-specific quality of life and self-compassion. Results: Eighty-seven participants completed the post-intervention questionnaires (51%), and practiced on a median of 9/14 days. Study completers demonstrated significant, moderate improvements on measures of stress, anxiety, depression, self-compassion and dermatology-specific quality of life, relative to controls. In intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses, these findings remained significant, however effect sizes reduced from moderate to small. Conclusions: The findings indicate that CFT self-help shows promise in the treatment of psychological distress associated with skin conditions, however further testing of the intervention is not feasible without significant methodological changes, including the method of treatment delivery. Future studies should also include a follow-up period, as the duration of treatment effects could not be shown.

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Psychology and Health
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This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
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Curriculum and pedagogy
Psychology
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Hudson, MP; Thompson, AR; Emerson, LM, Compassion-focused self-help for psychological distress associated with skin conditions: a randomized feasibility trial, Psychology and Health, 2019, pp. 1-20
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