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Goldsmiths - University of London

The value of psychological flexibility: Examining psychological mechanisms underpinning a cognitive behavioural therapy intervention for burnout

Lloyd, Joda; Bond, Frank W. and Flaxman, Paul E.. 2013. The value of psychological flexibility: Examining psychological mechanisms underpinning a cognitive behavioural therapy intervention for burnout. Work & Stress, 27(2), pp. 181-199. ISSN 0267-8373 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Little is known of the mechanisms by which interventions for burnout work. Employees of a
UK government department were randomly assigned to either a worksite group-based CBT
intervention called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; no43), which aimed to
increase participants’ psychological flexibility, or a waiting list control group (no57). The
ACT group received three half-day sessions of training spread over two and a half months.
Data were collected at baseline (T1), at the beginning of the second (T2) and third (T3)
workshops, and at six months’ follow up (T4). Consistent with ACT theory, analyses revealed
that, in comparison to the control group, a significant increase in psychological flexibility from
T2 to T3 in the ACT group mediated the subsequent T2 to T4 decrease in emotional
exhaustion in that group. Consistent with a theory of emotional burnout development, this
significant decrease in emotional exhaustion from T2 to T4 in the ACT group appeared to
prevent the significant T3 to T4 increase in depersonalization seen in the control group. Strain
also decreased from T2 to T3 in the ACT group only, but no mediator of that improvement
was identified. Implications for theory and practice in the fields of ACT and emotional
burnout are discussed.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

10.1080/02678373.2013.782157

Keywords:

acceptance and commitment therapy; burnout; psychological flexibility; intervention

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies
Psychology
Research Office > REF2014

Dates:

DateEvent
2 May 2013Published

Item ID:

8027

Date Deposited:

03 May 2013 07:16

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 13:12

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/8027

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