Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders: Protocol Development and Initial Outcome Data

  • Ellard K
  • Fairholme C
  • Boisseau C
 et al. 
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Abstract

The Unified Protocol (UP) is a transdiagnostic, emotion-focused cognitive-behavioral treatment developed to be applicable across the emotional disorders. The UP consists of 4 core modules: increasing emotional awareness, facilitating flexibility in appraisals, identifying and preventing behavioral and emotional avoidance, and situational and interoceptive exposure to emotion cues. Here we present data from 2 open clinical trials. In the first trial, an initial version of the UP was administered to a heterogeneous clinical sample, yielding significant pre- to posttreatment effects across disorders on a variety of measures. Analyses of clinical significance demonstrated modest results, with 56% of participants achieving responder status and 33% achieving high end-state functioning. Further manual development ensued, resulting in specific modifications and enhancements to core treatment components, and a second trial presents data from an additional pilot study of this revised version of the UP. Results from this trial demonstrated more robust treatment effects, with 73% achieving responder status and 60% achieving high end-state functioning. Results improved further at 6-month follow-up, with 85% classified as treatment responders and 69% achieving high end-state functioning. Implications for the treatment of emotional disorders as well as dimensional conceptualizations of psychopathology are discussed. © 2009.

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