One of the most critical periods in a woman’s life is menopause. During menopause, depression and anxiety are among the most common mood changes. Sleep disorders also increase during menopause, which leads to quality of life disorders. Different methods such as medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of them are used to treat these disorders. Acceptance and commitment-based therapy is one of the newest methods in psychotherapy that recently has been used a lot. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the effect of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on mood (primary outcome), sleep quality, and quality of life (secondary outcomes) of menopausal women.
This randomized controlled trial was performed on 86 menopausal women in Tabriz, Iran in 2021. Using the blocking method, participants were randomly assigned into the intervention and control groups. The intervention group received counseling based on ACT approach in 8 sessions of 60 to 90 min. The control group received only routine health care. Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale-21 (DASS 21), Menopause Quality of Life (MENQOL), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaires were completed before intervention and immediately after the intervention. Independent t-test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to compare the outcomes between the two groups.
In terms of sociodemographic characteristics and baseline values of the studied variables, there was no statistically significant difference between the study groups before the intervention. At the end of the intervention, the mean (SD: standard deviation) scores of anxiety, stress, and depression in the counseling group were 2.66 (1.28), 2.91 (1.62), and 1.98 (1.59) and in the control group were 4.19 (1.85), 5.61 (1.49) and 3.59 (1.91). In the intervention group, the mean score of all three variables was significantly lower than the control group (P < 0.001). After the intervention, the mean (SD) of the total sleep quality score was 4.04 (2.52) in the counseling group and 4.13 (2.63) in the control group. In addition, the mean (SD) of the total quality of life score was 23.47 (20.13) in the counseling group and 23.14 (17.76) in the control group. Between the study groups, there were no statistically significant differences in the mean of the overall score of sleep quality (P = 0.867) and the overall score of quality of life (P = 0.759).
Using ACT-based counseling can improve the mood of menopausal women. However, further randomized clinical trials are needed before making a definitive conclusions.
Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT): IRCT20120718010324N65. Date of registration: 2/19/2021. Date of first registration: 2/19/2021. URL: https://en.irct.ir/user/trial/53544/view; Date of recruitment start date: 2/22/2021.

© 2022. The Author(s).