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Experiential Avoidance, Mindfulness and Depression in Spinal Cord Injuries: A Preliminary Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2015

Timothy C. Skinner
Affiliation:
Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia. timothy.skinner@cucrh.uwa.edu.au
Terri Roberton
Affiliation:
School of Psychology, The University of Western Australia, Australia.
Garry T. Allison
Affiliation:
School of Physiotherapy, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Australia.
Sarah Dunlop
Affiliation:
Experimental and Regenerative Neuroscience, School of Animal Biology, The University of Western Australia, Australia.
Romola S. Bucks
Affiliation:
School of Psychology, The University of Western Australia, Australia.
Corresponding

Abstract

This preliminary study sought to explore the link between depression, experiential avoidance and mindfulness in people with a spinal cord injury (SCI). We surveyed patients listed on the SCI database at Royal Perth Hospital who had experienced an injury over the last 10 years. Respondents (62) completed a questionnaire including the depression subscale of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-2; Bond et al., 2007) and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS; Brown & Ryan, 2003). Thirty per cent of participants scored above the cut-off for possible depression, with equal numbers experiencing mild, moderate or severe depression. Mindfulness and experiential avoidance were significantly associated with depression, and were intercorrelated. Further, regression analysis indicated that experiential avoidance mediated the relationship between depression and mindfulness. Our preliminary data suggest that individuals with SCI who are more mindful use less avoidance and have a more positive mood. These results indicate further work in this area is warranted.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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