Development and validation of the Negative Attitudes towards CBT Scale

Zachary J Parker, Glenn Waller

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Background: Clinicians commonly fail to use cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) adequately, but the reasons for such omissions are not well understood. Aims: The objective of this study was to create and validate a measure to assess clinicians’ attitudes towards CBT - the Negative Attitudes towards CBT Scale (NACS). Method: The participants were 204 clinicians from various mental healthcare fields. Each completed the NACS, measures of anxiety and self-esteem, and a measure of therapists’ use of CBT and non-CBT techniques and their confidence in using those techniques. Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine the factor structure of the NACS, and scale internal consistency was tested. Results: A single, 16-item scale emerged from the factor analysis of the NACS, and that scale had good internal consistency. Clinicians’ negative attitudes and their anxiety had different patterns of association with the use of CBT and other therapeutic techniques. Conclusions: The findings suggest that clinicians’ attitudes and emotions each need to be considered when understanding why many clinicians fail to deliver the optimum version of evidence-based CBT. They also suggest that training effective CBT clinicians might depend on understanding and targeting such internal states.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psyhotherapy
Early online date8 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2017


  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • clinician attitudes
  • clinician anxiety
  • treatment adherence


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