A feasibility study of acceptance and commitment therapy for older people with treatment-resistant generalised anxiety disorder

This study is investigating the acceptability and feasibility of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for older people with generalised anxiety disorder. Qualitative methods were used in this study to explore older adults’ and healthcare professionals’ experiences of psychotherapy and the perceived acceptability of ACT. Feedback from these interviews was used to guide the development of a therapist manual for delivering ACT to older adults, using age-appropriate CBT and gerontological theory principles.

Think-aloud interview techniques were then used to trial the intervention and elicit further feedback from older adults with anxiety regarding the aspects of the intervention that worked well for them or needed further adaptation. This feedback was then used to develop a final iteration of the treatment manual that is focussed on the specific needs and experiences of older adults who are experiencing generalised anxiety disorder.