A1 Journal article (refereed)
The Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Intervention on Inflammation and Stress Biomarkers : a Randomized Controlled Trial (2020)

Järvelä-Reijonen, E., Puttonen, S., Karhunen, L., Sairanen, E., Laitinen, J., Kolehmainen, M., Pihlajamäki, J., Kujala, U. M., Korpela, R., Ermes, M., Lappalainen, R., & Kolehmainen, M. (2020). The Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Intervention on Inflammation and Stress Biomarkers : a Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 25(7), 539-555. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-020-09891-8

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Järvelä-Reijonen, Elina; Puttonen, Sampsa; Karhunen, Leila; Sairanen, Essi; Laitinen, Jaana; Kolehmainen, Mikko; Pihlajamäki, Jussi; Kujala, Urho M.; Korpela, Riitta; Ermes, Miikka; et al.

Journal or series: International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

ISSN: 1070-5503

eISSN: 1532-7558

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 25

Issue number: 7

Pages range: 539-555

Publisher: Springer

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-020-09891-8

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/69063


Psychological processes can be manifested in physiological health. We investigated whether acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), targeted on psychological flexibility (PF), influences inflammation and stress biomarkers among working-age adults with psychological distress and overweight/obesity.

Participants were randomized into three parallel groups: (1) ACT-based face-to-face (n = 65; six group sessions led by a psychologist), (2) ACT-based mobile (n = 73; one group session and mobile app), and (3) control (n = 66; only the measurements). Systemic inflammation and stress markers were analyzed at baseline, at 10 weeks after the baseline (post-intervention), and at 36 weeks after the baseline (follow-up). General PF and weight-related PF were measured with questionnaires (Acceptance and Action Questionnaire, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire for Weight-Related Difficulties).

A group × time interaction (p = .012) was detected in the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) level but not in other inflammation and stress biomarkers. hsCRP decreased significantly in the face-to-face group from week 0 to week 36, and at week 36, hsCRP was lower among the participants in the face-to-face group than in the mobile group (p = .035, post hoc test). Age and sex were stronger predictors of biomarker levels at follow-up than the post-intervention PF.

The results suggest that ACT delivered in group sessions may exert beneficial effects on low-grade systemic inflammation. More research is needed on how to best apply psychological interventions for the health of both mind and body among people with overweight/obesity and psychological distress.

Keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy; mindfulness; resiliency (flexibility); psychophysiology; physiological effects; overweight; stress (biological phenomena); inflammation; markers

Free keywords: psychological flexibility; ACT; mindfulness; obesity; low-grade inflammation; stress

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-20-09 at 16:41