Differential outcomes of skill training, group counseling, and individual cognitive therapy for persons with acquired visual impairment

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As part of the Living Skills Training Program, group counseling and individual cognitive therapy were implemented to decrease psychological distress for adults with acquired visual impairment. This quasi-experimental design study compared the outcomes of a 6-month skill training program combined with a group counseling program (n = 37), with (n = 9) or without (n = 10) individual cognitive therapy, and with a control group (n = 42). The outcome measures were the Profile of Mood States and the Nottingham Adjustment Scale Japanese Version. The results showed that participants with low psychological distress decreased anxiety and increased acceptance of disability, even when they did not participate in group counseling. However, among the participants with high distress, they did not show any improvement without group counseling or individual therapy. The participants with high distress who engaged in group counseling showed an improving trend in attitudes toward others. Moreover, the participants who chose to engage in individual therapy in addition to group counseling showed decreased tension-anxiety, depression, and fatigue, and significantly improved acceptance of disability. These results suggest that group counseling, combined with individual cognitive therapy, can be an effective part of rehabilitation treatment for clients who have high psychological distress.

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