Psychometric properties of two brief versions of the Voices Acceptance and Action Scale (VAAS): Implications for the second-wave and third-wave behavioural and cognitive approaches to auditory hallucinations

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Abstract

Despite a steep rise in the evidence base for third-wave cognitive and behavioural therapy approaches over the past decade, a scarcity of change measures relevant to these therapies as applied to psychosis is arguably slowing empirical progress in the area. The Voices Acceptance and Action Scale (VAAS), a measure of acceptance of voice experiences, is a notable exception. However, there are no published data on its psychometric properties outside of that provided by the scale developers. The current study explored the psychometric properties of two brief versions of the VAAS in a sample of psychotic voice hearers in a routine outpatient mental health service. Evidence from the current study suggests that both brief versions are robust measures of acceptance of voice experiences. Some limited support for the shortened VAAS-9 as being a marginally improved scale over the original brief VAAS-12 was also found. The current study found acceptance of voices to be highly related to depression, anxiety, stress and general negative affect and to predict unique variance in depression and general negative affect beyond that attributable to negative beliefs about voices and thought suppression. It was also found that acceptance was positively related to the use of reappraisal, indicating that the distinctiveness of acceptance from appraisal processes may be less pronounced in this context than what was has been reported previously. Implications for future research, as well as the practice of second-wave and third-wave cognitive and behavioural approaches to psychosis, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-459
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Volume22
Issue number5
Early online date2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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