Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valued action and anxiety

'Valued action' is defined as 'the degree to which one engages in behaviours that are consistent with personally-held values.' A team of researchers from Suffolk University in Massachussetts studied how valued action affected quality of life in people with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). They compared 30 people with GAD to 30 unaffected people and found that those participants with GAD reported significantly less valued action; something not explained by the depression that often goes alongside GAD. Valued action had a significant association with quality of life and was also associated with less 'experiential avoidance' - avoiding potentially-stressful situations - and distress about emotions. An acceptance-based behavioural therapy, which encourages patients to accept their uncomfortable emotions but still change their behaviour was found to increase valued action in the participants with GAD with 40% achieving clinically-significant change in this area.

Michelson, Susan E. ... [et al] - The role of values-consistent behaviour in generalized anxiety disorder Depression and Anxiety DOI 10.1002/da.20793

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