Mindfulness training for parents of children with special needs

Petcharat, M. & Liehr, P. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing | Published online: 27 April 2017


Problem: Parents of children with special needs encounter specific challenges in carrying out their caregiving roles. They experience difficulty accepting their children due to unrealistically high expectations. Mindfulness training (MT) may increase parental psychological well-being and acceptance.

Objective: The purpose of this article is to examine the evidence-base for the effectiveness of MT in enhancing psychological well-being for parents of children with special needs as a foundation for guidance for nurses in mental health practice.

Findings: The studies indicated that cultivating a more mindful way of parenting is associated with reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Parents experienced increased mindful awareness and improved psychological well-being, and they were more accepting of their children. Their children also had fewer behavior problems and enhanced positive interaction with their parents. Because mindfulness interventions fall within the scope of independent nursing practice, nurses can play a significant role in applying mindfulness to promote psychological well-being in parents who have children with special needs.

Read the full abstract here