Acceptance and commitment therapy versus social support for smoking cessation for people with schizophrenia: A randomised controlled trial

Yim Wah Mak, Alice Yuen Loke, Doris Y.P. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Smoking is prevalent among people with schizophrenia. It has been found that Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is effective for treating psychotic symptoms and addictive behaviours, but the therapy has not been modified to help individuals with schizophrenia to quit smoking. A randomised controlled trial was conducted with the objective of comparing a 10-week, in-dividual, face-to-face ACT programme (n = 65) to a social support programme on smoking cessation, experiential avoidance, and emotion-regulation strategies among people with schizophrenia who smoke (n = 65). The primary outcome was self-reported smoking abstinence for 7 days at 6 months after the start of the intervention. Secondary outcomes were self-reported and biochemically val-idated quit rates post-intervention. The Avoidance and Inflexibility Scale (AIS), Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II (AAQII), and Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) were employed. The self-reported quit rates in the ACT group were higher than in the social support group, although no significant differences were found (6 months: 12.3% vs. 7.7%, p = 0.56, 12 months: 10.8% vs. 7.7%, p = 0.76). We found significantly greater improvements in smoking-specific and ACT-specific experiential avoidance and less reliance on emotion regulation strategies in the ACT group at some time points. Overall, ACT is better than social support at enhancing experiential avoidance and reducing reliance on emotion regulation strategies in adults with schizophrenia who smoke. However, ACT did not produce a much better result than social support in helping them to completely quit smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4304
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Emotion regulation
  • Experiential avoidance
  • Schizophrenia
  • Smoking cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this