Objective: Parents of children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience greater emotional distress, depression, and lack of emotional support, compared to parents of healthy children. We aimed to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of a mindfulnessbased stress reduction (MBSR) group intervention for these parents. Method: In this single arm trial, 4 eight-week MBSR courses were offered to parents of children with IBD treated at the Schneider Children's Medical Center. Parents completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) at baseline, postintervention, and at 3 months follow-up. Results: Of 30 parents recruited, 26 (86%) attended at least 5 out of 9 classes (Mean parent’s age 43.3 ± 5.6 years, 19, 73%, females, patients' mean age of 12.1 ± 3.8, 73% Crohn's disease). Parents reported a 20% reduction in perceived stress (p <.01); 56% reduction in tension (p <.001); 36% reduction in fatigue (p <.001); and 42% reduction in anger (p <.05), following the intervention. None of these changes remained significant at 3 months follow-up. Conclusions: Our study suggests that MBSR appears to be a feasible and effective intervention to reduce stress and improve emotional functioning for parents of children with IBD, as was found immediately postintervention but not at follow-up. Strategies to sustain long-term benefit should be further investigated.
- Coping skills and adjustment
- Inflammatory bowel disease