An initial evaluation of an online compassion focused therapy intervention for self-esteem

PhD Thesis


Ierfino, D. 2017. An initial evaluation of an online compassion focused therapy intervention for self-esteem. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsIerfino, D.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol
Abstract

To date, no research has evaluated the efficacy of a web-based Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) intervention for young people. The current pilot study aimed to begin the process of evaluating the effectiveness and acceptability of a web-based CFT intervention by creating an online website youngmindbekind.com, and obtaining an initial effect-size estimate for a full scale randomised controlled trial (RCT) trial.

A two-arm, pilot, RCT comparing a web-based CFT intervention to a waiting list control condition (WL) was carried out with young people aged 16 to 25 from a non-clinical population. Participants had asynchronous contact from the researcher once a week, solely via the internet, to provide instructions for modules. Self-report measures of self-esteem, self-compassion, mental health and quality of life were completed at baseline and post-intervention/wait-list. In addition, the intervention group received them again at a 4 week follow-up.
A total of 40 participants were randomised to either web-based CFT (n=20) or to the WL group (n=20). Study attrition was 12 with 70% of participants completing the post-intervention/wait-list questionnaires. Pre-post change scores on all measures did not significantly differ between groups. The estimated, post-intervention, between groups, effect size for the primary outcome measure, namely the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, was d=0.17, with a 95% confidence interval of (0.92, 0.57). Qualitative feedback from questionnaires identified several themes relating to understanding compassion, activating compassion, finding the intervention acceptable, and future recommendations for the website.

YoungMindBeKind.com appears to be an intervention capable of engaging young people. Given the relatively small effect size estimate, further pilot work to improve the intervention and/or target young people with lower self-esteem may be helpful prior to a full-scale RCT.

Keywordscompassion-focused therapy, self-esteem, self-help, online-based intervention, self-compassion
Year2017
Supplemental file
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Restricted
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jul 2017
Accepted2017
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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Related outputs

Building self-compassion and combating low self-esteem: protocol of an online-based CFT programme (YoungMindBeKind.com) for adolescents and young people
Ierfino, D., Irons, C. and Jones, F. 2015. Building self-compassion and combating low self-esteem: protocol of an online-based CFT programme (YoungMindBeKind.com) for adolescents and young people.