Feasibility and acceptability of an online acceptance and commitment therapy group for parents caring for a child with cerebral palsy

Laura J. McMillan, Maria C. McCarthy, Frank Muscara, Vicki A. Anderson, Robyn D. Walser, Jenny O'Neill, Anica Dimovski, Meredith Rayner, J. M. Nicholson, S. J.C. Hearps, Paul A. Read, Elle Morrison, Kaitlyn McCabe, Katrina Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study explored the feasibility and acceptability of a videoconferencing group psychotherapy intervention for parents of children living with cerebral palsy. A six-session Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention called Take a Breath was provided. Participants were 26 parents of children aged 12 months to nine years, with severe cerebral palsy. Parents responded to questionnaires at three time-points; baseline, pre-intervention, and post-intervention. Qualitative responses were recorded in response to a structured item asking about benefits of participating in the intervention. Of those enrolled, 90% of parents attended the minimum required sessions and 35% attended all six sessions. Quantitative results revealed significant reductions in guilt and worry, and increased mindfulness, which echoed parents’ qualitative responses. The pilot findings suggest the Take a Breath intervention is a feasible and acceptable approach to providing mental health services to parents who face significant daily challenges and barriers to engaging support. Larger scale studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • cerebral palsy
  • online group intervention
  • parents
  • psychological

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