The Development and Evaluation of the Depth and Duration of Awareness Coding Scheme (D-DACS)

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Recent advances in transdiagnostic cognitive therapy such as Method of Levels therapy have utilised perceptual control theory (PCT). The current study reports the development and preliminary investigations of the psychometric properties of a newly developed coding scheme - the Depth and Duration of Awareness Coding Scheme (D-DACS) - that utilises PCT to code a client’s awareness of their present moment experiences, counterproductive strategies (arbitrary control), goal conflict and higher-level goals. Fifty participants’ first therapy sessions were coded according to the D-DACS. For the purposes of inter-rater reliability analysis, twenty-five percent of sessions were co-coded and inter-rater reliability of the D-DACS was found to fall in the good range. Findings for the convergent validity of the D-DACS were mixed with the finding of a significant association between the D-DACS primary indices and a more global and subjective index of awareness as measured by the D-DACS, but a lack of association between the D-DACS primary indices and self-report measures that were somewhat conceptually related. Support for the predictive validity of the D-DACS primary indices in relation to the prediction of change in symptoms for a subset of the sample who returned for a second session (n = 35) was not found. Limitations to the D-DACS as it stands and to the current study are discussed. Considerations for future research that address such limitations are also discussed.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Cognitive Behavioural Therapist
Early online date24 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018