Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on Psychological distress and Sleep problems in the Women with Breast Cancer


1 PhD Student in Counseling, Department of Psychology, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling, Khomein Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran.

4 Associate Professor, Counseling Department, Khomein Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khomein, Iran.


Introduction and purpose: Breast cancer is followed by various psychological, emotional and interactive damages for the infected women that applying appropriate psychological therapies to decrease these damages is necessary. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of ACT on Psychological distress and sleep problems in the women with breast cancer.
Material and methods: The present study was quasi-experimental with pretest, posttest design and control group and two-month follow-up stage. The statistical population included women suffering from breast cancer who referred to Ala’ cancer control and prevention center in Isfahan in the six months of summer and autumn of 2019 and 2020. 30 women with breast cancer were selected through convenient sampling method and they were randomly replaced into experimental and control groups (each group of 15 women). After decreasing the numbers, 25 women remained (12 women in the experimental group and 13 women in the control group). The experimental group received ten ninety-minute sessions of ACT (Hays and Steroshell, 2010) during two-and-a-half months. The applied questionnaires in this study included Psychological distress questionnaire (Kessler et.al, 1995) and sleep problems (Buysse et.al, 2005). The data from the study were analyzed through repeated measurement ANOVA.
Findings: The results showed that ACT has significant effect on Psychological distress and sleep problems in the women with breast cancer (p < 0.001) and it was able to lead to the decrease of Psychological distress and sleep problems in these women.
Conclusion: According to the findings of the present study it can be concluded that ACT can be applied as an efficient therapy to decrease Psychological distress and sleep problems in the women with breast cancer through employing techniques such as applying mental techniques, observing oneself as the background, cognitive fusion techniques, stipulating values and committed actions.


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