Psychological flexibility and attitudes toward evidence-based interventions by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients
AbstractObjective. Declining a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) by people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often contrary to advice provided by health-care-professionals guided by evidence-based principles. This study proposes relational frame theory (RFT) to offer a viable explanation of this phenomenon.
Design. A total of 35 people (14 female, 21 male) aged between 34 and 73 years, with ALS, participated in this cross-sectional research.
Main outcome measures. This research examined the predictive power and interaction effect of psychological flexibility (the fundamental construct of RFT) and psychological well-being on attitudes toward intervention options.
Results. Participants with high psychological flexibility reported lower depression, anxiety, and stress, and higher quality of life. In addition, psychological flexibility was predictive of a participant’s understanding and acceptance of a PEG as an intervention option. Psychological flexibility was not found to be a significant predictor of understanding and acceptance of NIV.
Conclusion. Although the criterion measure had not been piloted or validated outside of the current study and asks about expected rather than actual acceptance, findings suggest that applied RFT may be helpful for clients with ALS.