Mindfulness-Integrated CBT (MiCBT) for Reducing Distress in Parents of Children with Intellectual Disability (ID): a Case Series

  • Raphaella Osborn
  • Mary Girgis
  • Stephanie Morse
  • Jovana Sladakovic
  • Ian Kneebone
  • Alice Shires
  • Seeta Durvasula
  • Lynette Roberts


Caring for a child with an intellectual disability (ID) is associated with significant psychological distress. Interventions include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Mindfulness-integrated CBT (MiCBT) may offer a balance between CBT’s change focus and MBSR’s acceptance focus for these parents. Five participants were recruited and provided one to one MiCBT tailored to parental carers of children with ID. Four participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21 (DASS-21) pre-treatment and post-treatment. Reliable change analysis was used to identify clinically reliable change. One participant dropped out after four sessions, four completed eight of the available eight sessions. Two participants reported reductions in depressive and stress symptoms, and one of these, additionally reported a reduction in anxiety symptoms. All four participants who completed treatment rated the treatment as acceptable. MiCBT shows promise as an intervention to assist parental carers of children with ID.


Intellectual disability Parent Stress Wellbeing Mindfulness 



Dr. Bruno Cayoun for comments on a draft manuscript. The study is partly sponsored through an anonymous donation through the University of Sydney Medical Foundation to Centre for Disability Studies.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The funding body has not imposed any restrictions on free access to or publication of the research data.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of HealthUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  2. 2.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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