Age Inclusive Compassion Focused Therapy: A Pilot Group Evaluation

Anna-Marie Altavilla, Anna Strudwick

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate and provide recommendations to improve the effectiveness of an age inclusive Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) group in secondary mental health services for participants experiencing a range of mental health difficulties. Of particular interest was the acceptability and impact of having a wide range of ages (32 - 82) in such a group.

Methods: The study employed a mixed methods design. Validated self-report questionnaires were administered before and after the group intervention and qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with six group participants.

Results: There was a significant increase in ratings on the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) and Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), a significant decrease in the depression subscale within the Depression and Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) and a significant reduction in the risk subscale of the Clinical Outcome in Routine Evaluation (CORE). No significant differences were found on the overall scores and other subscales of the CORE and the DASS. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified four main themes; “Connection with others”, “Experience of a diverse age range”, “Group as a secure space” and “New strategies and tools”.

Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence that an age inclusive CFT group is well received and has a beneficial impact for participants, with particular positivity gained through compassionately connecting with others. The range of ages was appreciated and appeared to have therapeutic benefits, although awareness of differing age related needs is important. Limitations, recommendations for improvement and future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019
EventBPS FPOP National Conference: Beyond the stereotypes of ageing: Tales of the unexpected - Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, Southport, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jul 20192 Jul 2019


ConferenceBPS FPOP National Conference
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


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