Examining the effectiveness and acceptability of a group-based ACT intervention delivered by videoconference to international university students during the COVID-19 pandemic
Brandolin, F., Lappalainen, P., Gorinelli, S., Muotka, J., & Lappalainen, R. (2023). Examining the effectiveness and acceptability of a group-based ACT intervention delivered by videoconference to international university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2023.2254726
Published inCounselling Psychology Quarterly
© 2023 the Authors
Studies have shown that international students are at increased risk of experiencing poor mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has had further negative impacts on the psychological well-being of students. In this quasi-experimental study, we examined the impact of a brief acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) -based group intervention delivered by videoconference (ACT videoconference; n = 48). We used an equivalent in-person group intervention administrated prior to the pandemic as a reference group (ACT face-to-face; n = 53). In addition, we investigated the exposure – response relationship, dropout attrition, acceptability, and user experiences. International university students participated in five online group meetings using a videoconferencing app during the COVID-19 pandemic and were compared with students participating in five face-to-face group meetings prior to the pandemic. Symptoms (stress, anxiety, depression) and process measures (psychological inflexibility, mindfulness, engaged living) indicated similar positive changes in both groups (e.g. PSS-10, ACT videoconference dw = 0.54; ACT face-to face dw = 0.94; AFQ-Y, ACT videoconference dw = 0.55; ACT face-to-face, dw = 0.84), with a slightly larger effect in the ACT face-to-face group. This study suggests that brief ACT-based group workshops can be effective in enhancing the psychological flexibility of international university students, and decreasing symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety whether delivered by videoconference or face-to-face format. ...
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