An evaluation of an open group for depressed mood on a stroke rehabilitation ward: three years of clinical data

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Purpose: An open group intervention for stroke inpatients, based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is evaluated using retrospective clinical service data.  

Materials and methods: Participants were included unless severely unwell or unable to provide informed consent. 117 participants attended at least two sessions in a non-controlled, repeated measures design. Two session protocols were delivered on alternating weeks by an Assistant Psychologist and Trainee Psychologist, covering values, committed action, and acceptance. Participants rated their mood each session using the Depression Intensity Scale Circles (DISCs).  

Results: Attended sessions ranged from 1 to 11 (Md: 2). Significant reductions in DISCs scores with medium effect sizes were found among those scoring above the cut-off for depression at baseline, Χ2(3) = 20.87, p < .001. The likelihood of scoring below the cut-off for depression did not change between participants’ first and last sessions, X2(1, N = 117) = 1.36, p = .24. The number of sessions attended did not predict outcome, rs(117) = .09, p = .33.  

Conclusions: Design limitations prevented inferences of clinical effectiveness, but the group met several clinical utility criteria by providing a flexible intervention on a rehabilitation ward with competing demands. We highlight the importance of contrasting findings of clinical trials with data from clinical services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-946
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Early online date14 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • inpatient rehabilitation
  • mental health
  • psychological intervention
  • stroke

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