Motivational Enhancement as a Pretreatment to a Transdiagnostic Intervention for Emerging Adults with Emotion Dysregulation: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
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Objective: New approaches are needed to help the large number of emerging adults (EA) presenting with early-stage mental health problems. The goal of this pilot study was to carry out a randomized controlled trial to investigate whether motivational enhancement therapy (MET) improved the treatment effects of a 12-week psychological intervention, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Training (DBT-ST), for EA presenting in the early stages of mental health difficulties. Participants were recruited from the Youth Wellness Centre at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University's Student Wellness Centre in Hamilton, Canada. Methods: Seventy-five participants were randomized to receive MET followed by DBT-ST or to DBT-ST alone. We assessed psychological distress, emotion dysregulation, and depression and anxiety symptoms as outcomes. Results: We found that both treatment groups had significant reductions in emotional dysregulation, psychological distress, depression, and anxiety at post-treatment and at the three-month follow-up. Participants assigned to MET pre-treatment experienced greater improvement in psychological distress at the end of treatment. Conclusion: This pilot study provides preliminary evidence of the potential augmentation of DBT-ST using MET in a real-world setting. Future studies should examine whether MET uniquely augments DBT-ST through the use of a comparable pre-treatment control group.
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