Online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) interventions for chronic pain: A systematic literature review

D.L. van de Graaf*, H.R. Trompetter, T. Smeets, F. Mols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background
We systematically reviewed all literature concerning online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) interventions for chronic pain to evaluate their (1) ACT content, (2) design characteristics, (3) design rationales, and (4) adherence.
Material and methods: A systematic search was performed on July 9th, 2020 in; PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Web of Science. Search terms related to: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, chronic pain, and eHealth. Extracted data concerned ACT content, design characteristics, adherence, and design rationales.

Results
20 articles, in which 14 interventions were described, met all inclusion criteria. Adherence and design rationales were described to a limited extent in the included studies. In total, the majority provided an overview of the included ACT processes. In 10 articles it was described that the intervention was delivered via a dedicated website (n = 10), which was sometimes combined with an app (n = 3). Guidance was included in most studies (n = 19). Studies including RCT's (n = 8) reported online ACT interventions to be effective.

Conclusion
Online ACT interventions for chronic pain have been shown to be effective and have generally been constructed in line with ACT theory. However, the majority of studies does not provide information about the choices to optimize the fit between task, technology, and user. Considerations behind the choices for intervention features as well as design rationales could help to optimize future online ACT interventions. Additionally, consistent attention should be paid to measurement and operationalization of adherence, since this is a crucial link between content, design and effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100465
Number of pages10
JournalInternet Interventions
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • AVOIDANCE
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Chronic pain
  • DEPRESSION
  • INTERNET
  • LIFE
  • MANAGEMENT
  • MINDFULNESS-BASED INTERVENTIONS
  • MODEL
  • Online intervention
  • PROGRAM
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL FLEXIBILITY
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIALS
  • eHealth

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