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Videoconference-delivered group acceptance commitment therapy for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders: facilitators views and recommendations

Simon, Natalie, Cunningham, Evie, Samuel, Victoria and Waters, Cerith ORCID: 2023. Videoconference-delivered group acceptance commitment therapy for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders: facilitators views and recommendations. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 10.1080/02646838.2023.2180143
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Objectives To examine, in depth, the perspectives of facilitators of a videoconference-delivered group Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention for perinatal women with moderate-severe mood and/or anxiety disorders. Design Qualitative study. Methods Thematic analysis was used to analyse semi-structured interviews with seven facilitators and post-session reflections with six facilitators. Results Four themes were generated. First, there are barriers to accessing psychological therapies during the perinatal period and improvements are required. Second, COVID-19 has accelerated the provision of remote therapies, including videoconference-delivered group therapy, enabling a continuity of service, and facilitating diversification of treatment access and choice. Third, there are benefits of videoconference-delivered group ACT in the perinatal period, with reservations. Attending a group via videoconference is perceived to be less exposing, and offers normalisation, social support, empowerment, and flexibility. Facilitators also shared reservations including whether service users would prioritise videoconference-delivered group therapy, concerns about limited non-verbal cues and the therapeutic alliance, reporting a lack of an evidence base, and technology challenges when working online. Finally, facilitators offered recommendations for videoconference-delivered group therapy best practice in the perinatal period, including the provision of equipment and data, contracts for attendance and suggestions to maximise engagement and group cohesion. Conclusions This study raises important considerations regarding the use of videoconference-delivered group ACT in the perinatal context. There are opportunities afforded by videoconference-delivered group therapies, which is important and timely given the increased drive towards improving access to perinatal services and psychological therapies, and the need for ‘COVID-proof’ therapies. Recommendations for best practice are offered.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 0264-6838
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 March 2023
Date of Acceptance: 8 February 2023
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2023 01:00

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