Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness for Health-Related Quality of Life: Comparing Treatments for Parents of Children with Chronic Conditions - A Pilot Feasibility Study

Malin Anclair, Fredrik Hjärthag, Arto Juhani Hiltunen*
Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Section of Psychology, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden

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© Anclair et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Section of Psychology, Karlstad University, Universitetsgatan 2, S-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden; Tel: +46-54-700 2202; E-mail:



Research on parents of children with chronic conditions has shown that this parent group frequently suffers from psychological problems such as deteriorating life quality and stress-related disorders.


The present feasibility study focuses on Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) and life satisfaction of parents of children with chronic conditions.


The study was conducted using a repeated measures design and applied either group-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT; n = 10) or a group-based mindfulness programme (MF; n = 9). The study participants were wait-listed for six months.


The results indicate improvements for participants in both treatment groups regarding certain areas of HRQOL and life satisfaction. After eight group therapy sessions, parents in the two treatment groups significantly improved their Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores as well as their scores on the mental subscales Vitality, Social functioning, Role emotional and Mental health. In addition, some of the physical subscales, Role physical, Bodily pain and General health, showed considerable improvement for the MF group. When testing for clinical significance by comparing the samples with mean values of a norm population, the MCS scores were significantly lower at pre-measurements, but no significant differences were observed post-measurement. For the Physical component summary (PCS) scores, a significantly higher score was observed at post-measurement when compared to the norm population. Moreover, the results indicate improvement in life satisfaction regarding Spare time, Relation to child and Relation to partner.


The study concludes that CBT and mindfulness may have a positive effect on areas of HRQOL and life satisfaction.

Keywords: Cognitive behavioural therapy, Mindfulness, Parents of disabled children, Health-related quality of life, Life satisfaction.